Science fiction and babies go together like klingons and bat’leths.
Simply look at the success of Saga and Lone Wolf and Cub. So why not do it again, but this time with an apocalyptic world, a giant red tentacle-waving, sphincter-toothed monster and lots and lots of blood. Sounds like a good college try is in order: is it good?
Spread #1 (Image Comics)
We’ve seen it all before, so let’s be honest here, the reason there’s a threat doesn’t matter. It’s all about the survival and the people who rise up to do what it takes to make it.
The main protagonist looks slightly Wolverine-ish, but he’s an average guy who happens to be really good at keeping himself alive. There seems to be a giant tentacled monster taking over, the setting is somewhere cold and said monster can take control of the dead. Sounds fun. The real concept driving this book though, and something we’ve recently seen work very well, is that the book is narrated by the child on the cover of this issue. It might scream, “You’re ripping off Saga” but give it a chance, will yah?
They’ll always have Paris.
I can’t honestly say if this is an excellent series or an excellent pitch. We never learn much about the protagonist, nor what is going on at all, and the only semblance of detail when it comes to the villain is a single panel on the last page. The narration by the baby is very veiled and doesn’t reveal much beyond the fact that things are dire. All in all it doesn’t scream instant classic, nor pulse pound the heck out of those thin veins of yours.
There is a surprise of sorts when it comes to the baby (that I won’t ruin here) which should keep us all coming back for issue #2. That said, this issue is a bit of a bore. The setup doesn’t seperate itself from an average post apocalyptic story all that much and the lone protaganist taking care of a baby isn’t anything new either. It also doesn’t help the protaganist is your standard mystery man with very little detail revealed about him.
That’s a biggum.
The art by Kyle Strahm is pretty darn gorgeous though. The monster is incredibly detailed and fleshy. He’s also very good at drawing snow. It can be a very flat boring surface, but here it’s quite nice to look at. The characters all have a unique look to them that’s dramatic and interesting too. I’m not a huge fan of some of the shots of the baby however. It seems to have expressions that are pumped up a bit too much which make it look fake. There’s a moment the baby cries that’s quite emotional — but it took me out of the book when the baby looked more like a doll than anything living.
I’ve seen worse in Mexican restaurant bathrooms.
Is It Good?
There’s a lot of great ideas at play in this new series and it may be one hell of a horror/science fiction story once the first story arc wraps up — but there isn’t enough in this first issue to like to tell just yet. Though Spread shouldn’t go unnoticed, this first issue wasn’t a home run; more of a foul tip. Let’s wait for the next pitch and see where it’s going.