I’m not sure if it’s because Pixar wants to reserve the future of “Wall-E” for themselves (perhaps a sequel?) or because Boom! wasn’t feeling it was a good idea, but the “Wall-E” comic series is set before the movie, not afterwards. So there’s no Eve here, just Wall-E on a trash-covered Earth. It doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but there’s one problem: you already know on some level how it’s going to end.
The previous issues sidestepped this by showing “a day in the life” moments of Wall-E as he tries to clean up Earth while discovering all sorts of little treasures. Bryce Carlson’s script for this issue, though, jumps back even further in time to when there were multiple cleaning units still crushing the trash up and trying to prepare the dirty planet for new life. There are some fun ideas that Carlson and artist Morgan Luthi get to spin up to the audience as a result, like a supervisor robot to glower at all the little Wall-E model robots. But before long the joke is already running a little old, with exploding soda cans and questioning looks at lipstick. I know this is supposed to be for younger readers, but I’m not entirely sure that even the kids will find the jokes that funny.
Carlson also makes this a multi-part story, involving a storyline about a colony ship preparing to return to Earth. It runs afoul of the problem mentioned earlier, though, in that you know that the planet still has to be trash-covered and empty save for our hero Wall-E and his cockroach friend. Then, add in that you’ve got a series of identical looking, silent robots, and you can see the problems building. There’s no real differentiating them, no personality from one to the next to help you latch onto them. It’s a shame because these are problems that I think would’ve been much smaller in a single issue story, but the “to be continued” moment just amplified those issues.
The thing is? I think Carlson has potential to get this story to work. I’d like to see Carlson work on some single issue stories and master that length a bit more, because I think it would be tough for anyone to tell an extended story in a “Wall-E” prequel. This could still come together next month, but even if not, there are some nice little moments scattered throughout the issue that I’m not going to write it off just yet.