American Gothic Press 2015
Written by Paul Tobin
Illustrated by Jeff Johnson
Coloured by Anthony Diecidue
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
So not what I was expecting but I have to say this was so far beyond what I was expecting that’s it way cooler. This story has all the classic elements that a science fiction thriller needs complete with mutated humans and space pirates, not to mention a love story. The premise of the Terracore while nothing new is a perfect catalyst for several reasons. Profit in a galaxy that needs and wants it as well as what we learn about here.
There’s something extraordinary about the way Paul is able to end this tale. Langer meeting the man with the answers wasn’t something I was expecting. His visage very much akin to that of the Kind Souls and the revelation about their lives and what’s happened to them over time living on this desolated nearly dead planet was honest and heartwarming.
I think what surprised me the most about all this was Langer’s own personal journey that we were privileged to see unfold. Yes the story about who the man is, was and wanted for this planet was unexpected to say the least but honestly it was Langer himself and what Shane pointed out to him that got to me the most. Paul’s ability to tell a story is highly underrated and this issue is proof of that. His work to date got me here but it’s this single issue that moving forward will have always finding his work.
When the old Pirate talks about humanity and how it’s been divided was not only incredibly insightful but in its stark honest reality true to the lives we lead today. That alone should give many pause in their way of thinking. Change is an inevitable part of life, creation of things be it through science or otherwise creates constant change. When fear is ruling someones life so that they fight change and want the status quo to remain is when man is in trouble. Poignant, real, honest and scary in how easily it is conveyed here, a possible reasoning for the roots of bigotry in us.
Still all the while the Pirates on the planet after Langer, Shane and the kids playing their part in all this trying to bring them down while the request for a better world has been desired was a great play on what we’ve been “listening” to. Not to mention a little levity at just the right moment when you realize Langer is going to help these people realize their dream. Without too much thought to his own safety and future in the process.
Got to admit too that the discussion between Langer and Shane about humanity and how it’s viewed through differences in appearance and genetics well score another one for Paul. I love the twist when Talbot makes an appearance as well and you have to wonder if he’s set on the course he’s on or will he change his mind.
Damn I could never have expected to have such an emotional and thought provoking reaction to this story. That I have and feel in some way changed by it should be testament to what these folks have brought us through their undeniable skills.
Jeff and Anthony’s interiors have been inspired as well. From the moment we saw the children of whom only survives that initial encounter to the first appearance of the Kind Souls. Then the Pirates and the inspired backdrop of what’s known as the Arcade Planet we’ve been treated to a story that’s been as visually diverse as the writing.
Stories and ideas are meant to touch people and I guarantee you this one will do just that.