Wild Side (published in Heavy Metal Magazine issue 287)
Created By: Simeon Aston, Leah Moore and Adam Wollett
Inspired By: Wild Side by Motley Crue written by Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Vince Neil
Kneel down ye sinners to / Streetwise religion / Greed’s been crowned the new King / Hollywood dream teens / Yesterday’s trash queens / Save the blessings for the final ring Amen!
So begins Motley Crue’s Wild Side, the opening track to their multi million selling 1987 album Girls Girls Girls.
Leah Moore (Wild Girl, Albion, The Trial of Sherlock Holmes), Simeon Aston (Metal Made Flesh) and Adam Wollett (King Bum) take the ghettos of drug and and crime ridden 1980s LA as the inspiration for this tale of Science Fiction dystopia published as part of this month’s issue of Heavy Metal magazine.
I am not and have never been a fan of Motley Crue, I think I’m probably 5 or so years too young to have really been caught up in the glam metal, leather and lace explosion of the mid 1980s. I don’t have any preconceived notions of what this song is about based on headbanger to it the back of math class so I’ll take this story on face value.
There’s no attribution of credits in the issue or the story but my guess is that the story and script by Moore and Aston with Art and colours by Aston and lettering by Wollett.
Together they present a cyberpunk story of a Los Angeles teetering on the edge of disaster and collapse. A city where everything can be bought and sold if they price is right. A city where one man stands tall over all others. That man is the despotic demagogue Julius Forbes.
Forbes himself is a bloated, bulging toad a man who is equal parts Donald Trump and Baron Harkonnen. He is a narcissistic man of unlimited greed and unspeakable lusts who demands tribute from those who have less than nothing while ruling over the city from a palace within a giant statue of his own likeness.
This could have easily been a twee, We Will Rock You, 80s double concept album inspired story of a group of rock and roll rebels rising up with Les Paul in hand to cast down the oppressive forces of “the man”. Thankfully this is not the case as the creative trio serve up an energetic slice of cyberpunk urban decadence and decay played out to the hyperbolic extreme.
Moore, Aston and Wollett infuse the story with a 2000AD punk rock flair recklessly flipping middle fingers and stomping a boot in the face of authority.
Aston is practically a regular in Heavy Metal these days it seems. They have previously featured Metal Made Flesh and Simeon also collaborated with Editor in Chief Grant Morrison last year as part of issue 281’s Sex Special.
Aston’s art is unsurprisingly amazing combining New Wave Euro Sci-Fi inspired clear and clean line work with pink and orange hues which wash over the panels like the polluted smoggy air hanging over the LA sky line at dawn.
This story is one of 10 similar heavy metal inspired shorts which appear in the Winter 2017 issue of Heavy Metal. In addition to this you’ll find a zero issue style preview of the upcoming Iron Maiden “Legacy of the Beast” series as well as a Nine Inch Nails short story by none other than legendary horror writer and artist Clive Barker.
If you followed our recommendation and checked out Metal Made Flesh you will want to check this out to get more of Aston’s gorgeous art in your eyeballs. If you’re a fan of any of the bans whose songs inspire the stories in this issue this is for you too.
Heavy Metal 287, the Heavy Metal Issue is available through most reputable comic book stores, and probably a few disreputable ones too. You can also order it online direct from them or digitally on Comixology.