Written By Joseph Keatinge
Art By: Bret Blevins
Published by: Image Comics
Reviewed by: Dan Oles
Undeniably this fascinating comic is not lacking in creativity or ideas. The initial panels especially are unusually lush with diverse set pieces of a horrific pulp-sci-fi war featuring the corpses of giant aliens and robots, crashed spacecraft, and creatures living in the ruins of wrecked war machines. The plot is also intriguing and deceptively complex. A young mysterious woman hauls a bickering alien prisoner looking for a bounty, in the process uncovering the broken politics of a society shattered by the previous war we keep seeing evidence of. The sarcastic prisoner and his stoic warden do make for interesting companions throughout a majority of the story.
Where the story falters is when the flashbacks occur without much warning. The return to the days before the major conflict do flesh out the characters and backstory but they are a little disjointed since they look exactly the same aesthetically as ‘current’ events, and there’s bleed from the past to the present further confusing the issue. Another issue of sorts is that the tone is a little confused. There’s a charming hokeyness to the clear homages to old time science fiction from the costumes to the creatures and robots you can almost pinpoint as representative of famous examples of the genre, but in the same comic there’s some fairly gruesome mass death scenes and beyond the cantankerous alien prisoner there is no hint of levity or humor in the proceedings.
Still the story does end on a compelling mystery, the artwork is pretty, and I personally enjoyed the unique notion of a story set after a galactic war, not during one. The mash-up of gritty modernity and kitschy art style is intriguing and there’s the potential for some promising character arcs here. I’ll be looking for later issues to see if they live up to the potential of this initial powerful, amusing, and original outing.