Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Kyle Charles
Release Date: 6th May, 2015
After an absolutely stunning debut series, the second instalment of Michael Moreci’s Roche Limit trilogy starts this week with the first issue of ‘Clandestiny’. Interestingly, Moreci has made the fairly brave decision to set this ‘sequel’ seventy-five years on from the first series, complete with a brand new cast of characters and a brand new dynamic. Thematically, there are definitely a lot of parallels to be drawn between the two titles, but if the first series was ‘Blade Runner’ with its noir-soaked street-level sci-fi, Clandestiny is very much ‘Prometheus’, with a rag-tag band of mercs and scientists thrown together for a mission to a strange planet.
The second series also brings in a brand new artistic team. Gone is the smooth, evocative work of Vic Malhorta, replaced instead by a far more energetic, scratchy style courtesy of Kyle Charles. Charles gives this series a dynamic new aesthetic, with Matt Battaglia putting forth some truly stunning colour work, flooding the cramped interior pages with blues and purples and bathing the exteriors in a pale orange glow. Simply put, this is an utterly gorgeous looking book, dripping with a sense of atmosphere that marries up perfectly with Moreci’s typically confident writing.
From a narrative point of view, the events of the first Roche Limit series put us in an interesting position; namely, knowing a lot more about what the protagonists are walking into than they do. The gap between the two series’ gives events adequate time to settle down, and Moreci makes sure that our latest batch of characters are likeable and intriguing enough for us to become instantly invested in – with Sasha particularly worthy of attention with her complex, hinted-at, heartbreak-filled backstory.
For an opening issue, Clandestiny gets its hooks in early with some brilliantly compelling protagonists and tantalising mystery at its heart, managing to effortlessly fill the colossal shoes of its predecessor. Moreci continues to carve out his reputation as one of the strongest, most versatile voices on the scene today, and the passion he pours into every single page of this series makes for truly riveting reading. A sharply written slice of existential sci-fi, Roche Limit: Clandestiny is your new favourite series, even if you don’t know it yet.