Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Steve Horton
Art: Stephen Thompson, Lisa Jackson
Release Date: 1st June 2016
So after that absolutely magnificent first issue, the question that I’m gonna go ahead and assume was on everybody’s mind was ‘yeah, issue ones are great, but make a whole story they do not’. That’s not a question. Statement, the statement on everybody’s… ach, I cocked that up, didn’t I. But yeah, it’s still pretty great.
Thompson and Jackson’s art continues to be a source of immense joy, and here, they’re given room to flex their muscles a little more forcibly, with the issue’s story being a link between two major set pieces requiring a transition from tight industrial corridors out to the grand open space of one of Satellite’s gargantuan enclosures. Thompson’s immaculate sense of scale, as well as the beautiful way in which Jackson switches and adapts the lighting of the scene, gives the sequences the verve of a Michael Bay action sequence, but with seventeen times the intelligence and consequence.
But the real triumph of the book is in how it’s so deftly weaving its themes and ideas into a story whose pace should theoretically prohibit them from ever coming to light. It blisters along, and yet somehow manages to put across commentary on a number of key ideas that are ultimately the driving force of the narrative. Trust, loss of identity, and finding your place in the grand scheme of the universe are all touched on, and given that this swirled with the start of a hovercar chase, you can only be impressed with quite how skillfully Horton is weaving this narrative together.
The only real criticism that I can conjure is that the final plot development, whilst nicely conceived, does feel a little too telegraphed, and given that the foundation of the twist was thrown down at the start of issue one, reading just this issue makes it feel just a little bit detached. But that just gives you an excuse to grab the first issue, and read both back-to-back. The story has earned the right to refer back to itself, and if you didn’t go pick up issue one, I don’t know what else I can say to compel you to do so.
After that absolutely essential opening, the story is now settling into its sense of self and pace, and given that barely any time has been spent world-building, it’s genuinely jaw-dropping quite how familiar this world is starting to feel. Even as a stand-alone issue – detached final pages aside – it reads like a complete piece, throwing down stakes, raising them, and having our hero overcome them it a pleasingly inelegant, yet immensely effective manner. This remains a series that you absolutely must get aboard – seriously, just go out and buy it already.
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The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24