"Post-Nuke" is a
webcomicwritten and drawn by Andreas Duller. It tells the story of Christopher Manic and his dog Aries, survivors of a nuclear holocaustthat has killed 5 billion people around the world, and their struggle to survive in a vastly different world. The apocalyptic future history of "Post-Nuke" is strongly reminiscent of prophecies regarding the end of the world as found in the Biblical Book of Revelation.
Christopher Manic is the main character of the series. He was a struggling farmer before the wars that destroyed the Earth began, and he lost his wife and daughter when a nearby city was destroyed. He is now a wanderer with his dog, Aries, gathering junk from the wasteland to trade for supplies. Manic usually wraps his face in cloth to keep the cold out and wears a gas mask over that to block out poisonous gas. Without them, he is shown to have a heavily lined face and graying hair and mustache. He has trouble trusting people, but has a good heart, as shown when he saves a little girl dying of hypothermia. He is carrying a powerful weapon that an alien in a dream convinces him to take to the city to defend it from invading forces. He is jailed for taking a nuke into the city, but has currently been released.
Aries is Manic's dog and only constant companion. He sometimes acts as Manic's conscience, such as when he convinces Manic to save the little girl, Emily. During a dream sequence early in the comic, Aries acts as the representative of Manic's subconscious, confronting him with his anti-social attitude and the fact that Aries could die any day. This seems to be working on Manic, who has recently made friends with Emily and Charles Murdock. After Murdock opens the Box, Emily and Aries are now endeavoring to see what is inside.
Charles Murdock is an old man who Manic first meets in Issue 6. Murdock, much to his shame, is one of the men who launched the missiles that turned the world into a frozen wasteland. He claims that they all thought that it was another drill and was the only survivor of his base. Murdock is the only occupant of an abandoned survival base, though Manic, Aries and Emily recently joined him. After Manic left for Bartervill, Murdock attempted to open the Box, which he and Manic had verbally fought over before Manic's departure. Whatever is inside has horrified the old soldier so much that he refuses to let Emily look inside.
Emily is a young girl Manic saved from hypothermia. Her mother died at the wheel and her father was eaten by mutants. Manic says that she reminds him of his daughter, Kimberly. While she initially panicked and even tried to shoot Manic and Murdock, she eventually calmed down and even came to like Manic and completely fell in love with Aries. A little while after saying goodbye to Manic, she and Aries watched Murdock open the Box, which Manic and Murdock had fought over previously. When Murdock refuses to let her see what it contains, she vows to see it at all costs.
The Emperor is the leader of a rapidly shrinking empire of desperate people he gathered after the nuclear war that destroyed the world. Most of "Issue 5: Remembrance" tells the Emperor's story. He caused the wars that destroyed the world in an attempt to take over the remains. However, soon after it was created, his empire began to split. Currently, the only news of the Emperor is that he might be sending his nearly-invincible armored troops to attack Bartervill.
Clane befriended Manic before the story began and sold him a map. However, in an attempt to get the stuff Manic salvaged, Clane betrayed Manic who managed to fight his way out of the ambush and kill Clane and his men.
The Mutants are poor souls whose DNA has been mutated by the radiation. The worst ones are mindless cannibals who are slowly rotting. Manic hints that there are other, less harmed, mutants who are still more or less human. Manic fights them in "Issue 4: Mutants."
The Alien is a being that appears in Manic's nightmare in "Issue 8: Nightmares". He claims to be a highly evolved being that is actually an alien instead of just a dream. He shows Manic a vision that tells him he must leave the safe military base and get the weapon he is carrying to Bartervill. Manic hints that the Alien has appeared before.
The chronological beginning of the story is an unknown amount of time before Issue One. By 2006, the world becomes overcrowded and polluted. By 2008, parts of the world dry up, global warming raises the ocean temperature, and natural disasters destroy the coastline. In 2010, the economy is nearly collapsed and "The Big One", the biggest quake in history, hits. America's west coast slips into the ocean.
Nuclear plants slip into the ocean and land, poisoning about 1/3 of each. Massive earthquakes and tidal waves destroy more of the world and the world's economy comes to a screeching halt. Humanity unites and helps those afflicted, and it looks for a time that the world might recover. Then, the soon-to-be Emperor comes to prominence. He is a genius who has learned from the mistakes and victories of other would-be world conquerors. He gains followers from around the world and uses them to pull strings in the world's governments, turning them against each other, than waits for "the day it blew".
The nuclear war soon begins. The sky turns black and the sun, moon, and stars disappear. The Emperor uses his forces, hidden away in safe places, to gain popular support. He houses, feeds, and clothes the people, who are brainwashed into believing that he is here to save them from evil. He puts the women to work in domestic jobs and the men, in massive swarms, join his armies. He then begins to destroy pockets of military and government that have survived the attacks. Using their nearly invincible armor, they defeat their enemies and seize their weapons, giving them even more power.
However, the Emperor also runs into problems he hadn't foreseen. Nuclear winter eliminates most of his vehicles' ability to move, he has to rebuild gas refineries to power the machines, and people opposed to his ideas are making their own countries and armies. These enemies seize some of his mini-nukes and blow up several of his bases, setting him back a long way. In addition, his own army is breaking up in North America, forming its own small governments. The Emperor ceases his world domination strategy in an attempt to rebuild and reorganize in his own territory before trying again.
Eight years after that, Christopher Manic is hauling valuable objects to barter off in the nearest town. He is attacked by pirates, which he eventually finds out were sent by his supposed friend Clane. After fighting them off, he finds and kills Clane and moves on. He gets lost and follows tracks into a small town that is inhabited by mutants. He fights them off and escapes, tracing the tracks to a stopped car.
Inside, he finds a woman and her daughter. The woman is dead, and the daughter is nearly dead as well. After some debate, Manic takes the girl. However, when attempting to leave, the slope his truck is on gives way, sending it down a slope. They survive, as does Manic's cargo, and they are saved by Charles Murdock, an old army man, who takes them to an abandoned army base.
After sedating the girl, who is rapidly recovering and panicky, Murdock and Manic talk. Murdock reveals that he is one of the troops that pushed "the Button." Manic is initially angry, but gets over it. During this time, the girl wakes up and attempts to shoot the men with Manic's gun. Her terrible aim allows them to survive and calm her down. She reveals her name is Emily and becomes good friends with Manic and his dog, though relations are slightly more frosty with Murdock, whom she knocked out by throwing the gun at him after running out of bullets.
That night, Manic has a nightmare. When he wakes up, he is convinced that he must go to Bartervill, a city about a week away from the base, to deliver his cargo (a weapon) to the people so that they can defend themselves again the troops of the Emperor. Murdock, on the way out, gives him a mini-nuke. Before he leaves, however, Manic and Murdock fight over a mysterious Box, which Manic refuses to explain and demands that Murdock leave be. Approaching Bartervill, the nuke sets off an alarm. The guards throw Manic into a cell, where he is questioned. He manages to shock his questioner by saying that he's giving them the massive amount of weaponry he has. On the most recent page: while the questioner doesn't seem to believe him about the imminent attack of the Empire, he is willing to let him go. Just then, his pager begins to beep.
The questioner is ordered to release Manic, as his dream has caught the interest of higher ups. Meanwhile, Murdock, with Emily and Aries watching, opens the Box and is shocked to find what is inside: something so terrifying that he shuts it and orders Emily out, refusing to show her what it is. Back in Bartervill, Manic is shown a video that confirms that the Emperor himself is marching with his army towards Bartervill. His forces severely outgun those of his opponent.
Choicecomics.com - "The artwork is very intricate and it's obvious the artist is working as hard as he possibly can to get each page perfect. The plot is also deeper than originally meets the eye. In an era online where nuclear winter comics mostly consist of gay anime boys dancing around together, "Post-Nuke" is completely refreshing and brilliant."
"I was immediately drawn into this engaging graphic novel. Right away the man and his dog wandering the nuclear winter is filled with palpable emotion. Technically the drawings are not wow-inducing but the effect of the art, story, and the grey color palette is devastating in some scenes. Website design is a little klunky but overall a must see!" Fact|date=January 2008
Thewebcomiclist.com - "Totally awesome 11 out of 10"
"AMAZING graphic novel, touched with humor in an apocalyptic environment - i'm trying to tell u to read it!!" Fact|date=January 2008
* [http://www.postnukecomic.com// "Post-Nuke" website]
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