A question was raised this month amid the reviews team here at BCP Towers – is Rick Remender one of the finest science fiction writers working in comics today? Perhaps even full stop, across all mediums?
It’s possible, certainly. Between this and Low – also out this month, also a very fine book, reviewed by my finely bearded colleague Chris – it’s clear that Remender’s set out to at least try to make this a reality, and he’s not exactly doing a bad job of it.
Having taken a break after last issue’s fairly bleak finale, this one picks up – as often this series has – in medias res of something fairly horrible going down. Namely, our somewhat decimated dimensionaut party, being held at the behest of some terrible medieval lizard… things, and due to meet an untimely demise. How will they get out of this one? Well! Therein lies the rub, so we shan’t spoil it.
Suffice to say that Remender’s writing remains at the high-flying level that it’s been at since the start of the series – his gruffly frank dialogue, and sly wit getting an opportunity to shine through here (“You face the might of the Lotpl’k!” “And YOU face the might of a super sci-fi laser gun!”). Given the relatively tragic events of he last issue, we’ve got a new protagonist along with the new story arc, and for followers of the series thus far, it’s a bit of a curveball, but not an unpleasant one.
Scalera and White’s art is getting bolder and more delightfully (and appropriately) outlandish with each issue, and here, more than ever, we’ve got the juxtaposition of fantastical scenery with sci-fi tropes, all rendered unsettling ghoulish with a gloriously over-saturated colour scheme. That and this issue proves that literally anyone can be rendered heroic by the addition of a beard. Which plays into my own hand beautifully.
Overall, if you’ve not been sold on this series previously – 1. what is wrong with you? And 2. this is not a jumping on point, so you should probably head back to issue 1 if this is piquing your interest. But if you’re invested in what happens to our dimensionauts, in terms of continuing an already extant, truly fantastic story, this hits the ground running rather literally, and it’ll be great to see what happens going forward, especially given the twist at the end of the previous arc.
Terrific art, sharp-as-hell dialogue and dripping with ingenuity, this series continues to be one of the best things Image is putting out, and that’s saying something. If not proof positive that Remender is one of the finest sci-fi writers working, it certainly proves that he’s up there.
The writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24