Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Steve Horton
Artwork: Stephen Thompson, Lisa Jackson
Release Date: 13th July, 2016
Every so often, a piece of entertainment comes along that absolutely blows your socks off – only for you to get the feeling that there’s the possibility that you’re the only witness now lacking footwear.
Much as I’m well aware that us here at BCP Towers aren’t the only folk who rated issues 1 and 2 of this slice of sci-fi – there was a niggling feeling that was clawing at the back of mind. As the memory of issue 2 faded, I became less certain of the ostensibly perfect rating I’d slapped it with, and being the super-important (lie), super-busy (truth) comic book critic (half-truth) that I am, I didn’t have a chance to revisit the series. But hey! Issue 3 is out this week, and if ever I needed an excuse to go back over previous issues, it was for this series.
I’m now extraordinarily pleased to report that not only was I totally not wrong about issues 1 and 2, but this latest outing retains the air of excitement and promise that made its predecessors quite so special. Had you guessing with that opener though, didn’t I? That’s how you hook ‘em, so I’m told…
Anyway… I remain utterly enamoured with the series, particularly in the context of reading it through as a whole now there’s a fairly big chunk of it to actually digest. As the plot thickens – with Horton expertly stirring in new characters, along with just the right combination of comedy and tragedy – it’ll become increasingly difficult to recommend individual issues, and issue 3 is one of what I can only assume is going to be a slew of them that’ll not make too much sense to those coming in from the cold. But in all fairness… people who try to dive aboard series half-way through an arc are quite mad anyway, so they’re probably not reading this here recommendation.
Perhaps the most notably thing about this issue is the bleeding-edge political commentary that Horton’s snuck in at the start of the book. Neatly encapsulating an Earth where virulent isolationism has been allowed to run rampant, one could easily envision Trump as its president – a Milgram experiment writ on a planetary scale. Although the practicality of a space wall come Dyson sphere around Earth is exactly as dubious as the one on the US/Mexico border, so at least things don’t really change.
Thompson and Jackson’s art remains beautifully, consistently brilliant – from design through to execution, the world they’re weaving lives and breathes. This issue features just a few cues from the urban futurescapes of Blade Runner, and there’s even – much to my absolute joy – a little Firefly thrown in thrown in as the issue progresses. But it’s all mixing together to create something wonderfully unique, and quite unlike anything else you’re reading at the moment.
I’ve said it once. I’ve said it twice. So… third time’s the charm? If this doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will – y’all should be reading this series. It’s one of the most genuinely entertaining and intriguing stories that you’ll read this year.
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The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24