After a relic falls into his hands, Walt starts to take charge of his new life whether or not his mentor Grink helps him. But can he control his own destiny, or is existence here merely to fight on behalf of the Catha? Find out in End after End #3 from Vault Comics!
END AFTER END #3
Writer: David Andry and Tim Daniel
Artist: Sunando C
Colorist: Kurt Michael Russell
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Editor: Adrian F. Wassel
Publisher: Vault Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 2, 2022
Previously in End After End: In his first battle, Walt survives the fight to get the Catha into the keep. His mentor introduces himself as Grink. Now they must climb down into the keep to find whatever it was the Wreek were protecting. Walt is not interested in climbing down a pit, but after Grink insinuates that the Catha only wants the best of the best to help her, Walt goes on. He is reminded of his childhood and trying to stop a bully from attacking his brother. A man he helped earlier, Stiles, helps him when they encounter a Cave Cutter, a giant spider. Stiles also talks him into going with him to try to get the item the Catha is looking for. If they can get it, Walt can become a big deal. Doing this awakens an enormous crustacean, but in the fight, the relic falls into Walt’s hands.
A TOUCH OF DESTINY
End After End #3 opens with Walt fighting more Wreeks successfully. Grink is not even helping him. Another winged mentor (Qither) pops in, observing that Walt’s survival is a new record for Grink. He has lost his own charge after a few years, and a new arrival is due. A woman arrives, Qither hands her a sword and a shield, and she charges into battle. Walt insinuates that Grink is not a helpful mentor. Grink counters that maybe she already knew how to fight and sarcastically calls him the Chosen One.
There is a flashback to when the relic, a sword hilt, fell into Walt’s hand. The Catha immediately takes it away from him saying it was not meant for him. He apologizes, but it felt like it chose him somehow. Grink insists that he is no one special. His only job is to fight and survive as long as he can. But Walt wonders why his role could not be more. Stiles takes him aside and hints that big things could still happen.
The scene changes. Walt is still part of the Catha’s elite force, and they are riding a giant bug train and need to reach another creature. Stiles helps him get over to the next bug, killing another bug in the process. He also calls Walt the Chosen One. In another skirmish, Stiles takes out a Wreek by shooting it, leaving him with only four bullets. But they recover another relic, this time a shard from a shield. Grink tells them that when the sword and shield are assembled, a great hero will be reborn. And their endless war will finally end.
IS DEATH BUT A DREAM?
In End After End #3, we know Walt was just a pretty normal guy in life. In the flashbacks, we see some of his very human moments. But Stiles has given him the idea that a heroic life is within his grasp. We see a reflection of that in him. No longer does he try to hang back. He does not waste time trying to make sense of what is going on. He does his best to stick the pointy end of his sword into the creatures who attack them. But we do see, from the moment he held the sword hilt, the possibility that crosses his face. What if he really is the Chosen One?
I wish the art showed us the giant bug train better. From as close up as we get to it, we mostly get a sense of them traveling at speed. It is not entirely clear if their fight is to get across to another bug train or just to reach another group of Wreeks. Still, the fight itself is portrayed well. The occasional indistinctness does give everything a dreamlike feeling as do some of the transitions.
BOTTOM LINE: TAKING A SECOND CHANCE
End After End #3 is an interesting take on a sort of afterlife that is as nebulous and confusing as life itself. As Walt settles in, will he find that he has some control over his destiny here, or is he only part of someone else’s adventure?
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End After End #3
Walt survives and tries to discover his purpose in this life after death.