In a future set 286 years after atomic bombs destroyed civilization, a group of humans created a new colony by following the seven laws set up by Doctor Jefferson Hancock, who is known as the creator of the Ranger Scouts. Unfortunately, the main character, Kit, is breaking the third law by pretending to be male in order to be a Ranger Scout. She is very skilled and ends up on a scouting mission to determine the hideout used by the highwaymen, the enemies of the Ranger Scout community, where she accidentally comes face to face with the highwaymen and must escape. During her escape, Kit uncovers information that completely changes her view about the Ranger Scouts and her colony’s existence.
When Kit is offered the opportunity to compete to become part of the Eagle’s Guard (the highest honor for a Ranger Scout), she initially dismisses it, but ultimately decides to compete in order to gain access to the classified information it would grant her. She hopes the info will help answer the questions and quell the doubt she’s felt since the incident with the highwaymen. This pits her against her best friend, Dez, who is the son of the current scoutmaster, and causes friction and dismay when Dez reveals his feelings for Kit, who he believes is male.
While this story is entertaining and well-paced, it does not cover any new territory or thoughts on the topic of the exclusion of women or power’s corrupting capabilities. The potential is there at the beginning, but the story and characters quickly fall into well-known tropes and characterizations. The art does a good job enhancing the story with its use of muted colors and organic lines, showing the messiness of a world full of mutated creatures and unnatural weather. Overall, I would only recommend this to librarians wanting newer copyright dates in their collection. Otherwise, there are better stories that cover similar themes for older teens, such as Lumberjanes, Monstress, Lock & Key, Rainbow in the Dark, Bitch Planet, or Paper Girls.
By David Pepose
Art by Luca Casalanguida
Aftershock Comics, 2021
Publisher Age Rating: 16+
NFNT Age Recommendation: Older Teen (16-18)