Our most anticipated apocalypse this year has nothing to do with Oscar Isaac; rather, it is full of adorable cats and dogs, who quickly become way less adorable when they’re forced to rebuild society following the collapse of humanity. Such is the brutal saga of Legend, the new series from Z2 Comics, that follows an English Pointer named Legend. The pup sets out to slay a terrible beast known as the Endark after Ransom, the leader of the Dog Tribe, is murdered. Now this is the real secret life of pets.
Legend marks the comic book debut of novelist Sam Sattin (The Silent End) and offers a fresh take on some well-trodden, nightmarish ground. A collaboration with artist Chris Koehler, Legend looks to breathe new life into a sometimes stagnant post-apocalypse genre, and evokes a sort of Cormac McCarthy-meets-Watership Down vibe — which I am here for.
Here’s the official synopsis:
What if a biological terror agent wiped out most of humanity, and our domesticated animals were left in charge? How would our dogs and cats set about ruling and rebuilding the world? Ransom, the leader of the Dog Tribe, has been murdered by a creature known as the Endark. An English Pointer named Legend reluctantly rises to lead in his place, vowing to kill the monster once and for all. From acclaimed novelist Samuel Sattin and award-winning illustrator Chris Koehler comes LEGEND, where cat technology rules, dogs partner with hawks, and humans may be the most beastly creatures of all.
In advance of the comic’s impending release on May 4, Sam Sattin and Chris Koehler crafted an exclusive Spotify playlist of music that inspired them for Nerdist. So, put it on and get ready to look at your pets in a whole new light.
Here’s some exclusive commentary on the playlist by the comic’s creators:
“Do You Feel It” – Chaos Chaos
“Sam and I survived on a steady diet of Rick and Morty while we were working on Legend. This song comes at a heartbreaking moment at the end of an episode and it stuck with me. The band is also fantastic in general.”
“Black Night” – The Dodos
“The Dodos are great work music and this song is my lacing-up-the-gloves-and-preparing-for-battle anthem. It has a charging percussion and drives me on when I can barely keep my eyes open. This is the sound of getting shit done.”
“The Moon” – The Microphones
“If there is a sequence in the first issue of Legend that I’m most proud of illustrating, it is when Fidget leads a dying Ransom through the wall of thorns and stands over him as Ransom gives up the ghost. This song is everything I wanted to convey visually — the thundering rain, the naive wonder, the intimacy of a friendship about to end, and the crushing despair of the inevitable. And above it all, a glowing white moon…”
“Wolf Like Me” – TV On The Radio
“If I had to give a theme song to every character in Legend, this would the entrance music to the Endark. Sinister, nasty, and driving, this song is as relentless and primal as the Endark we meet in issue 1. This song channels the atavism of humanity in the wake of its own self destruction, the reverting to bestial nature. Basically, everything the Endark represents. Plus, wolves.”
“Darkness on the Edge of Town” – Bruce Springsteen
“I could have chosen any song by the Boss but this one just makes sense. The dog tribe lives in a hallowed area called the grounds on the edge of town. This is their home, and even when they should just get up and go, they refuse. These dogs remind me of the characters on this album – beat down and abandoned but proud and resilient, and Springsteen’s New Jersey has always felt post apocalyptic to me.”
“County Line” – Cass McCombs
“Most of the heavy art lifting happens between dusk and dawn. This song is perfect for those times when the clock hits 3am and inking has barely begun with the finished page due in the morning.”
“Hurt” – Nine Inch Nails
As Chris mentioned, Rick and Morty kept us on life support through those long Legend nights. It’s one of those shows that outsizes itself regularly by combining razor sharp humor with emotional and intellectual depth. Here’s another log on the pile then from the Wubalabadubdub set, which, if you’ve seen the show, pulls extra hard on those heart strings.
“Vamos a matar, Compañeros” – Ennio Morricone
“Ennio Morricone is one of my favorite composers. I could have honestly just filled my half of this list with the mood-saturated, epic scene-setters of his I listened to while writing Legend, but repetition does not a playlist make. This Morricone treasure comes from “Compañeros”, and the title of the song speaks soundly of what is to come as the dogs journey out into the Wilderness.”
“Old Shep” – Johnny Cash
“Originally composed by Red Foley, Cash’s version of Old Shep always stuck with me most. It’s a sad song, and a somewhat scary one as well, but demonstrates resilience. In an unexpected twist, the songwriter, when finding out his dog needs to be put down, ends up wishing he could die in his place. All in all, this folk classic captures the relationship a person can have with an animal, which is central to the story we’re looking to tell.”
“Monkey Gone to Heaven” – Pixies
“When I first heard this song years ago as a kid, I liked that it was about a monkey, but didn’t pick up on much besides–namely, its themes of environmentalism and global collapse. Legend preoccupies itself with environment, biology, and bio-mutation. This classic by the Pixies epitomizes the notion of a world fallen, defiled, and quite possibly cast beyond redemption.”
“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” – Bob Dylan
“I heard the sound of a thunder that roared out a warnin’
I heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world.
I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin’
I heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin'”
“Innuendo” – Queen
“Legend is a story of survival and strength, of escape and defiance in a decimated world. Basically, Legend is Queen. Okay, maybe not. But Queen is definitely one of my favorite bands, and Innuendo is one of my favorite tracks. It manages to frighten and elate me every time I hear it. I hope Legend will do the same for you when you read it.”
Legend #1 is available at your local comic book store on May 4, 2016.
What do you think of this playlist? Will you be picking up Legend? Let us know in the comments below.
Image: Z2 Comics