Skip to content

Swan Songs #1 (of 6)

Comicscore Index
Universal acclaim

Based on 11 critic ratings.


W. MAXWELL PRINCE (ICE CREAM MAN, HAHA) continues his weird, winning one-shot formula with this all-new multi-artist project that explores the way things END…and also how they never really do.

SWAN SONGS comprises stories about endings…The End of the World. The End of a Marriage. The End of a Sentence. The End of the End of the World! (Which I suppose one might consider the BEGINNING of a new world…)

And along for the terminal ride are some of comics’ best and brightest artists! The first apocalyptic issue, “The End of the World,” is drawn by none other than THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH’s MARTIN SIMMONDS. Future artists for future endings include CASPAR WIJNGAARD (HOME SICK PILOTS), and FILIPE ANDRADE (The Many Deaths of Leila Star), with more to be announced.

All things come to a close; these are the SWAN SONGS.

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
28 pages
Amazon ASIN

11 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    You Don't Read Comics

    Prince and Simmonds have put something together that has a kind of purity rarely granted to an end of any kind on the comics page. There have been a lot of ends of the world in a lot of different comics, but they’ve always been marred by the trivialities that come from ongoing series or the restless introduction of every new beginning. Prince and Simmonds open their series on the end with a simple, open embrace of the end of the world. It’s kinda cool.

  • 100


    For a series about endings, Swan Songs has a fantastic beginning. The art, which features the runup to a nuclear holocaust, is strangely beautiful. And the writing is top notch focusing on a mother-son relationship instead of the end of the world.

  • 100

    Graphic Policy

    wan Songs #1 sets the tone for a unique emotional journey that hopes to unsettle with the intention of getting at harder but necessary interpretations of our relationship with the end. There’s melancholy and there’s pain, confusion and frustration, but also the possibility of hope should the individual find it within him or herself to see certain things all the way to their conclusion. And yet, none of this is telegraphed to the reader. You don’t read Swan Songs for answers. You read it for the questions it’ll make you ask. Whatever answers you find are entirely yours.

  • 100


    Starting with the end of the world as a side story to a mother-son relationship, Swan Song delivers a powerful opening. This series is not for the faint-hearted, as it unearths questions you never knew you should ask. Sorrow and melancholy permeate this issue, yet there lingers a glimmer, albeit a faint glimmer of hope and joy, awaiting those who dare to grasp it, whether it is the reader or the protagonist. If you are looking for an intelligent, thought-provoking read that resonates deeply, look no further. Swan Songs’ debut issue sets the stage for a profoundly unique and emotionally charged journey.

  • 96

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: W. Maxwell Prince crafts an entertaining, often thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable experience with this issue. The world of the story is immersive, the characters interesting and the progression of the plot kept me engaged from the first panel. I love the nature of this series and if this first issue is any indication of what I can expect from the rest of the series, I will be on board for the next issue when it arrives.

    The Art: Simmonds crafts some beautifully detailed and visually immersive art on every page of this issue. You feel a part of this world through the visuals and the final visual moments of the issue are beautifully bittersweet.

  • 92

    Comic Watch

    Swan Songs #1is beautifully realized in a painterly style, combining simple writing with an environmentally atmospheric setting to create a comic book that goes above and beyond what its 24 pages should be capable of.

  • 90

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    If you’re looking for a fun and light-hearted story that’ll make you feel good, avoid Swan Songs #1. But if you’re looking for a dark tale with an apocalyptic setting, heavily drenched in horror and existential dread, check this book out. Recommended.

  • 90

    Swan Songs #1 invites readers to explore finality in a medium that seemingly never ends. Yet Prince’s career is a testament to “less is more” and what is achieved in this first issue affirms that few can write a single issue story better in 2023. Combined with the consistently stunning work and perfectly suited style of Simmonds, it makes for an outstanding debut that seriously addresses the anxiety of feeling like one is living in the end times. While Prince’s black humor and idiosyncratic notions are evident, they are applied for different effects than in Ice Cream Man to reveal a sense of tragic optimism where beauty can still be found in even the worst circumstances.

  • 90


    Together, Prince and Simmonds have told that most rare of things in comics: a non-serialized tale that satisfies the reader. Do I wish I had more time with our young hero, to watch him move through the world or even hold his dear mother? Sure, and this could’ve easily been stretched out into a proper miniseries that would’ve been even more robust and effective. But that’s not the point, and by deliberately denying us, the duo make our connections and interest feel all the more real. Because it too will end, and we’ll just be left waiting blubbering the rubble.

  • 86

    Multiversity Comics

    What really brings “Swan Songs” #1 over the edge is the art. Simmond takes no prisoners, and gives us humble readers as feast for the eyes. The pages in “Swan Songs” #1 are fully fledged, and saturated with the colors of a world in decline: reds, blacks, smoggy beiges and grays. In less capable hands, this would look messy, dull, or like a bad imitation of Cloudy with a Change of Meatballs (think of the pea soup scenes). But this is not that. It’s glorious and depressing all at once, and impeccably stylized. This doesn’t feel like a generic, dystopian collection of visual tropes, even though the death and destruction is there. Whatever is happening in “Swan Songs” #1 feels distinct to its world, while also obvious and legible. This is a strong opening entry to this anthology.

  • 80

    Comic Book Revolution

    Swan Songs #1 does an incredible job taking you on an emotional journey in an apocalyptic setting. The journey in a hopeless world our lead character takes is one filled with pain and loss that creates an emotional investment in seeing that journey through to the end. Its through experiencing what is ultimately a mother-son story that you’re left with a story that stays with you after well after finishing reading Swan Song #1.

More From Swan Songs (2023)