Science fiction fans have good reason to be fickle: we’ve been introduced to so many worlds and so many rehashed concepts that it sometimes seems like there aren’t any original ideas left.
Then a comic comes along and proposes there are aliens who live on all 9 (okay 8 — but in this comic there are 9) planets. How does that work? Is it good?
Red City #1 (Image Comics)
This book nails dialogue. This is incredibly important — mostly because there’s so much narration and while there are instances here where narration is overused, it’s used well for the most part. This is particularly important to point out before getting into the details, because really this is trying to be a gumshoe detective work. That means more telling, more discovering and more about the character than the actual plot. It’s a tricky thing to pull off though, especially when you’re introducing a whole new way to look at our solar system.
Space is complicated!
Unfortunately I can’t say the same for the plot which is your standard story of the male hero being in charge of protecting a young girl who will most likely make his life very complicated. It may be that writer Daniel Corey’s real strength is with character, which is obvious here, but the plot could have been freshened up a bit. There’s warring cultures and of course he’s being thrust into the middle of them.
There is some interesting interplanetary stuff going on, although we only get a brief taste of it through exposition by the commander who sets our protagonist on his way. There isn’t much in the way of an explanation for why there are aliens on the planets we all know and love, but maybe that’s unnecessary since this is most likely a made up universe that just so happens to have our solar system as its main area of interest.
There’s also not enough science fiction-y stuff to play around with here. It’s your standard set of spaceships, aliens and hologram strippers. In all honesty I wish there was more to wow and intrigue in this universe. As it stands it seems like a pretty basic future complete with aliens who like to wear full suits for some reason.
Cliched to talk about cliches?
The art by Mark Dos Santos is good…enough. It’s quite dark with heavy inks which I’m not entirely sold on suiting the story just yet. This is a character driven work, so the layouts with the dialogue and narration work, but there’s not alone of anything beyond talking heads. He hits the expressions well though which is the most important thing with a work like this.
This scene doesn’t actually take place in this issue. Flash forwards!
Is It Good?
I’m not entirely sold on this story yet. The dialogue is great and the character has just enough of a chip on his shoulder to get behind, but the world is very mediocre with an even more mediocre plot.