Advance Review: Olympics In The Wasteland In `Once Upon A Time At The End Of The World’ #5

by Tom Smithyman


This unlikely post-apocalyptic love story wraps up its first arc in a fun way, though the ending feels a bit artificial. The artwork is not overly detailed but does a good job of showcasing each character’s feelings.


Welcome to the last Olympic Games, also known as the Apocalympics.

The sports include bug eating, rat killing, cactus tackling and, of course, golf. The final competition is a chilling battle to the death. What do you expect, though, when the setting for the games is a post-apocalyptic wasteland?

Those are the monumental tasks facing Mezzy as he fights for his life against the Rangers in the latest issue of Once Upon A Time At The End Of The World. He is now paying the price for having been captured last issue while the Rangers were searching for their turncoat Mezzy. While he’s full of confidence, Maceo is the book smart part of the pair. That’s what makes him and Mezzy, the street-smart kid, such a good combination.

Writer Jason Aaron brings the initial story arc to a close in an interesting fashion. The Apocalympics don’t end in an expected way, which is a good thing. Whether the audience believes in the resolution that Aaron has crafted is another story though. It’s a nice wrap up, but it strains credibility more than it should – even for a post-apocalyptic story.

Main artist Alexandre Tefenkgi and colorist Lee Loughridge clearly are having fun as they depict the games. While these aren’t the most intricate drawings, these manga-inspired depictions feel appropriate given the wasteland setting. And the frequent closeups work well in showing what characters are feeling without the need for words. (Artist Nick Dragotta and colorist Rico Renzi deliver the last few pages – an epilogue to the story seemingly meant to set up the tale’s eventual ending.)

With Maceo and Mezzi now fleshed-out and established characters, the creative team can take this would-be and unlikely love story in very different directions. It will be fun to see what Aaron and team choose when the series resumes.

Once Upon a Time at the End of the World #5 will be available for purchase tomorrow.

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