Zatanna, Molly, and Tim are on a road trip. They are driving through very rural Wyoming.
The town they are nearing, Spartanville, also known by some of its inhabitants as New Sparta, was at least partly taken over by a religious cult leader, Absalom Smith, about 14 years previously. Now the town is deserted and run down, and everyone lives in a bunker/fort outside town.
The comic is partly narrated by the Tasha Ross, originally the town librarian, who ran afoul of Smith. Her diaries from the time he took over, and later, give context to the current storyline.
Smith ruled that all children that were not his--and he has impregnated most of the town's women--were sacrilegious, and must be abandoned at the rest stop outside the town limits.
A whole group of those children, now of various ages up through teens, now lives in hiding in the rest stop. Originally they were cared for by Tasha Ross, who was blackmailed by Smith, who otherwise threatened to kill another child she cared for.
The children are basically wild. They are named after the candy in the snack machine, which is all the food they have to eat.
The townsfolk drop off a new baby in the rest stop, which starts a chain reaction among the children, who are tiring of their life and roles.
Meanwhile, Zatanna is concerned that neither Molly nor Tim's parents know where they are. She insists they talk with them so she is not illegally harboring them. Both children are unhappy with their parents or grandparents, so they are not looking forward to this.
One of the children who found the new baby also found a knife. One girl, Caramel, who has been good at keeping the others motivated, accidentally causes another, Chip, to get angry. He takes the knife, and there is a fight.
When Zatanna and the kids stop at the rest stop, they find the new baby on the ground, alone, covered in blood. Zatanna is angry, and casts a healing spell, but they realize the baby was actually unharmed. Instead, it heals Caramel, who was nearby and trying to protect it, but had been hurt by Chip.
She is thankful for the help, but she soon disappears, intent on keeping the children's location hidden from outsiders.
Tim, angry at Zatanna for what he sees as her hypocrisy regarding parenting, walks off, letting the kids alone. Instead he picks up the bloody knife and magically "cleans" it, putting the blood "where it belonged."
Chip, who had run off, finds himself wounded in town, where the cult's members shoot him.
Smith, watching from his bunker, finds that his hands are bloody--presumably due to Tim's spell.