‘Derelict’ floods the world and dares inhabitants to survive

derelict

Derelict
Written by Ben Fleuter and ML Snook
Illustrated by Ben Fleuter
Ongoing, 2011-2015
Updates sporadically

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Derelict is a post-apocalyptic webcomic that utilizes silent environments and sparse dialogue to show readers just how much Earth has changed.

Dang Thu Mai, captain of the salvage ship Penumbra, serves as our guide in this strange new world. The catalyst for this unfamiliar Earth is a strange fog called Miasma, which is deadly to humans but not to the People of the Fog, monstrous creatures created by the fog years ago.

Dang is incredibly clever. She can think on her feet, engineer her way out of any situation, and will fire a weapon if she needs to. In a world filled with deadly fog, only those with a good head on their shoulders will survive. Of course, luck doesn’t hurt either.

Derelict isn’t just about surviving, there is a larger plot afoot. During her voyages, Dang picks up an S.O.S. signal from the vessel Goya. Intent on helping those on board, Dang cautiously works her way through the ship. It’s not long before she discovers that the entire crew is missing, most likely dead, but the details of the crews disappearance is a mystery until she discovers the ships log. Determined to get some answers, Dang listens to the last log recorded and learns that a “demon” is loose on the ship. After barely escaping with her life, Dang decides it might not be such a bad idea to be around other people for a while.

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Two years later the “demon” appears in Arbutus, a city in which humans and non-humans live and where, coincidentally, Dang is working as a train operator. However, there is more to the “demon” than meets the eye. For example, the “demon” has taken on the form of a woman and was given the name Una by her mentor. As “Book 2: Cloister” gets the ball rolling and introduces the central conflict of Derelict and only time will tell what the future holds in store for Dang and Una.

Ben Fleuter, the webcomic’s creator, has done a brilliant job in developing a strong female protagonist. Dang is definitely no damsel in distress. I absolutely love Dang’s tactical mind, and when she cracks her knuckles, you know some serious business is about to go down. Her pinwheel calling card in the first book made me grin from ear to ear when I saw it because it was usually accompanied a fiery explosion, curtesy of Dang. Fleuter also paints a desolate landscape that has readers looking around for other people to stave off loneliness. Themes of racism are explored through the interactions with the humans and non-humans as each race jockey’s for position in this new world.

 

Derelict is an intriguing webcomic with lots of juicy plot points waiting to be revealed, and if you are willing to check-in for updates every month then dig in.

 

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