Encountering the unknown has long been something of interest, particularly when our own lives are falling apart, and that includes our families.

In The Forever Maps, young John discovers the unusual, and its impact is beyond what he could imagine!

Scout Comics, John, 1700s, Forever Maps, nonstop, immortality, search, Michael Lagacé, Todor Hristov, unusual, unexpected, unknownTHE FOREVER MAPS #1

Writer: Michael Lagacé
Artist: Todor Hristov
Colorist: Todor Hristov
Letterer: Michael Lagac
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Editor: Kurt Knippel
Publisher: Scout Comics

Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 25, 2019

SOLICITATION:  The newest entry in the new NONSTOP! Imprint where Scout releases a World Premiere issue followed by the entire story a few months later in one volume. In 1794, a young man named John is given a map. Curious, he follows it, and when he arrives at the end, he finds a similar map. This leads him to another, and then another, and on and on. Determined to find something, anything, else, he continues to follow these strange maps all over the country. Decades later, he learns that as long as he follows them, he doesn’t seem to get older… and it’s not until nearly a century later that he realizes when he stops, time begins to catch up with him. Torn between family and immortality, John must continually choose between living forever and having a life worth living

‘I CAN’T DIE’

Every one of us thinks we’ll be around to see the future, or at least, what will happen to those around us. In The Forever Maps, 16-year-old John encounters a man who has a map that he ends up taking possession of, and it leads him on an unexpected journey.

Personally, I love historical pieces—those set in a different era, especially when it’s accurate to the time period and NOT influenced by today’s standards.

That’s what this comic does, and does well. It transports me back to the past, a time when the unusual could be considered normal, when science hadn’t yet explained so much of the world around us.

This comic takes place in the late 1700s, and in America. John is a young man who has family struggles that eventually force him to go elsewhere. With the map he’s acquired, he follows where it leads, and he wants to be better than his abusive father.

When John returns to talk with his mother, he finds that she has passed, leaving him with remorse he can barely contain. The only thing he has that can add any sense to his life are the maps, and he turns to them to face the future.

In the America of that era, there weren’t as many opportunities as there are today. People had few choices when it came to a profession, and if you went somewhere else, you were considered crazy. John is seduced by the lure of the unknown provided by the maps, and he gives himself over to their leading.

Of course, I need to know: Now what? If John can’t die, as he says, then where will he go? What will he do?

The pacing is quick except when it needs to slow down, such as times when we need to learn something. The characters are easily understood and intriguing. It’s a gripping tale that begs to be read, and I can’t wait to see where John goes next.

APPROPRIATE ART

The art in this comic is perfect for this time period. I can’t help but remember Calvin’s dad in Calvin and Hobbes. When asked why photos went from black and white to color at one point, he told his son, “That’s because the world was black and white then. Eventually everything turned to color.” And he wondered why his son was as nutty as he was!

The coloring is subdued, and I’m sure that’s to match the tone of the story. There are few very bright colors to be found, if any, with most pages using a darker palette to keep us wondering what will take place next—“in the dark,” as it were. It’s an ideal match for the script!

BOTTOM LINE: Should We Always Follow the Guide We Choose?

As previously mentioned, this title is part of the NONSTOP! program at Scout, so we can expect the rest of the story to appear in a few months in a collected edition. Personally, I’m looking forward to that happening! I wonder if we should always trust in or believe in the guides we pick to lead us through our lives.

This story just screams “movie” to me, so I’m hoping it will be found in local theaters before very long. It’s the beginning of a tale of mystery and searching for life and family, one I’m happy to embark on with this creative team! Highly recommended!


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The Forever Maps #1

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Unusual

I need to know: Now what? If John can’t die, as he says, then where will he go? What will he do?

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About Author

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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