The first issue of comiXology Originals series Afterlift is a clever, kinetic start to what promises to be a long night drive of the soul.
Featuring writing by Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man), art by Jason Loo (The Pitiful Human-Lizard), coloring by Paris Alleyne, lettering by Aditya Bidikar (Little Bird), and editing by Allison O’Toole, Afterlift is nominally about a rideshare driver’s conscription into ferrying a demon, and a valuable soul, to Hell. Issue one features a lot of exposition about how that concept works, but it also features the wit, banter, and deeper character moments that Zdarsky is known for, as well as animated character acting from Loo, Alleyne, and Bidikar.
That character work, as well as the promise of a deeper dive into the “why” of … well, life, death, and everything, is the primary reason I’ll be picking up Afterlift 2. I want to know why rideshare driver Janice hangs a locket on her rearview mirror, and why she started driving. I want to know more about how the now-dead Suzanna ended up on the road to Hell. And I want to know how Dumu the demon even found Suzanna, and why it’s so important that he be the one to claim her soul.
It’s possible that some of those answers will have to wait, as Afterlift 1 ends with a car chase sequence that is set to carry into issue 2. But if this perfectly-paced combination of linework, colors, and VRRROOOM-based lettering is what delays my search for answers … well, I can wait until the car chase ends to learn more:
If you’re willing to pay the ferryman’s toll, Afterlift is definitely worth the price of admission – especially as the first issue is on sale for $0.99 at the time of this writing. So go do yourself a favor, and take a trip to Hell.