Publisher: Image Comics (Shadowline Imprint)
Writer(s): David Hine, Brian Haberlin
Artwork: Brian Haberlin
Colours: Geirrod Van Dyke
Lettering: Francis Takenaga
Release Date: 12th June 2019
The Ran are explorers, terraformers, intrepid families looking for a new life, a paradise, a way out. Once every five cycles the planet Perdita orbits close enough for them to make a perilous flight into the unknown. Unknown, because nobody has ever returned from Perdita to tell those left behind what’s really there.
Sonata is one of The Ran, her family having survived the journey to paradise. Strong-willed, adventurous and, as with most young people, utterly convinced of her own immortality. When vital resources start to mysteriously dwindle, putting the future of her community in jeopardy, Sonata joins the search for the cause. Expecting to discover a natural phenomenon responsible for the disappearing water supply, Sonata and the search party find a more sinister hand behind their bad luck.
I’m going to be honest and say that I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy this but I’m pleased to say that I was completely wrong.
Hine and Haberlin have created a well realised and intriguing world in Sonata that manages to combine a vivid, alien fantasy tale with rather a dark sci-fi survival story. There’s a lot to tell, a lot we need to understand about the drivers of the people we’re meeting, how they’ve built what they have and why. As an introduction to the series, however, the creators do a fantastic job with the kind of world building that doesn’t drag or bog down the progress of the issue.
Typically I’m not a fan of the artistic style that Brian Haberlin and Geirrod Van Dyke have used but I have to say that it works rather well with this story, and helps the narrative really come to life. The character and creature designs are fantastic, too. Each of the tribes of Perdita have their own defining characteristics, with each individual’s role and function within the community being pretty obvious by their clothing and accessories, and the characters we meet all have well-defined personalities. I also love the fact that the antagonist in this issue is drawn in a way that leaves absolutely no doubt that he’s an unhinged megalomaniac looking for a fight. I guarantee you, this man definitely speaks with a British accent!
Likewise, the beasts and monsters we meet are superb, from the flying mounts Sonata trains to the scavenging goblin-like creatures, and my own personal favourite the Sleeping Giant, which just rocks as a mythic Leviathan roaming the landscape.
It’s not my preferred genre, but I ended up really enjoying reading this issue, and if you’re a fan of fantasy or dark science fiction, Sonata is definitely well worth picking up.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek