A Modern Western/Narco/Horror/Crime/Love Story: Advance Review Of Gasolina #1

by Brendan M. Allen

Fugitives. Rebels. Newlyweds. In their journey south from El Norte, Amalia and Randy have played many roles in order to survive. Now, they must become unlikely leaders in the fight against a new cartel who uses inhuman tactics to ignite the most monstrous war Mexico—and the world—has ever seen. Everything burns in this new series from SEAN MACKIEWICZ and NIKO WALTER, where love and devotion can only be measured in fire and blood.

Skybound’s Editor-in-Chief Sean Mackiewicz makes his writing debut in an all-new horror/crime epic Gasolina, which drops on 20 September 2017. Mackiewicz teams with artist Nico Walter, colorist Mat Lopes, and letterer Rus Wooten in the new series.

The story opens in a cane field with a tender scene between newlyweds Amalia and Randy. Leaving their sketchy pasts behind to live simply as farmers, the lovebirds almost immediately run up against a dangerous new cartel known as Los Queridos (The Beloved). The cartel quickly gains a foothold in the local arena, eliminating competition with a variety of horrific, inhuman weapons.

Mackiewicz doesn’t waste any time shifting the story into high gear. We get almost three whole pages of the mushy stuff before violence breaks out. Instead of beating us over the head with exposition, Mackiewicz gives us a solid look at the current relationship between these two with strong dialogue and interaction. He spends the rest of the issue familiarizing us with the local scene and introducing the rest of the cast, while peppering in clues to Amalia and Randy’s mysterious past.

Nico Walter absolutely nails down everything Mackiewicz calls for in the script. The detail is spectacular, from the labyrinthine pattern on the belly of a dead beetle to the vacant eyes of half a dozen disembodied human heads. Walter is known for the tension and creepy vibe in his panels from his previous work on Demonic with Christopher Sebela, and he brings every bit of that to this new project.

I’ve heard that Mat Lopes is really, really good at coloring fires. I haven’t gotten to any raging fires yet in this series, but I can confirm that Mat Lopes is really, really good at coloring blood. There are a couple scenes in this first issue where blood is EVERYWHERE. Blood on a surface has a different look than blood on skin, which is altogether different than dried blood on clothing, and Lopes has it right.

I’ve been told I have a tendency to wrap reviews with something like, “this series is like x+y, with a little z thrown in,” but Mackiewicz does a really good job summing it up himself here:

GASOLINA is a horror-crime epic set in Mexico, full of gun fights against cartels armed with tanks and perverse creatures… shot through the eyes of newlyweds fighting against a world quickly going to hell, who put a human face on a conflict that’s both harrowing and outrageous.

You can order Gasolina #1 from your LCS using Diamond Code JUL170702.

Gasolina #1 reaches FOC, Final Order Cut-Off, for retailers today, August 28th, so get your orders in if you’d like to see this comic in your local shop.