Publisher: Image Comics
Writer/Artist: Edward Laroche
Release Date: 28th November 2018
Scientists discover what they believe to be a natural phenomenon, a tiny localised quantum field rearranging matter into… something else. One month later the same scientists discover that this is in fact not a natural phenomenon, but is actually being controlled by a planet-sized object heading through space on a collision course with Earth.
The latest adventure from Edward Laroche (Almighty, Waveform, Bad Summer) has a fair bit going on in this first issue, but if I’m honest I’m not entirely sure what it is that’s actually, you know, going on…
First things first, the pacing of this issue is awful and it felt like too much time was spent focused in the wrong areas, leaving the actual plot progression as almost a foot note. There was no tension where there really should have been, and the difference in styles between the zen-like incongruously peaceful scenes with the nameless soldier and the almost pulpy writing of the rest of the issue are incredibly jarring.
We open with a very long introduction to a soldier who may or may not be part of a “Universal Soldier” type program, and are treated to a whole 15 pages of watching him get on a plane and it taking off. We then completely switch style and tone and are introduced to what could be a very interesting character in disgraced scientist Dr. Lin, but we only get a very brief glimpse of her. The remainder of this issue gets to the meat of the story where we get our first very succinct explanation as to what is going before heading back to our nameless soldier and his mission into the unknown.
It’s disjointed and it’s inconsistent in the type of story it wants to be. Is it a high concept sci-fi tale or is it a pulp alien action saga? I’m not sure at this stage that Laroche even knows. All that being said, this is a story that I can see some real potential in. The premise might not exactly be a new one. After all, insidious invasions by alien intelligence have been part of sci-if culture for over a hundred years. But having read a couple of Laroche’s previous works, Almighty & Waveform, I think it’s worth persevering as when he gets into his stride Laroche is a great writer and this could be an opportunity for him to really spread his wings and give us something big.
My main hope therefore is that over the next few issues we’ll see this develop into the kind of sci-fi opera that Laroche deserves the chance to show us.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek