Image Comics 2015
Written by Kel Symons
Illustrated by Nate Stockman
Coloured by Paul Little
Okay i’m done this just went and did a number on my head. Kel has managed to do something that hasn’t been done in ages and totally flipped this story into something completely new. I love the fact that we’ve been introduced to a world that is very much akin to a sword and sorcery place and then the Warden meets a girl who seems to posses magical powers but instead has technology long forgotten. Her people are the guardians of this lost technology and the Salamander people who rule this world through fear.
The Salamander people have a headquarters underground in a big metal city. It looks like some sort of command center/shelter from a civilization that once live on the planet but is now long gone leaving the world left back to a time when technology was new. That’s where we pick up in that underground city with the Warden and his group as they fight to survive. With members of those who specialize in one part of technology they manage to hold their own but the Warden has an unwelcome helper in the form a ghostly woman only he can see.
Robots, humans, salamander people yeah this surely isn’t what you signed up for when reading the first issue. It’s so much more than you can imagine from its rather humble beginnings. Trust me when I say that you’ll be surprised, shocked and in utter disbelief when you read the story from the beginning to now and you really need to. The characterization has superb and the story progression has been flawlessly done. One man’s journey for self discovery of a destiny he doesn’t believe in or want and yet seems to accept as events happen has been a joy to see.
Nate and Paul have done something extraordinary as well with the interior artwork. The attention to detail is spectacular and colouring really makes moments pop. There’s also something special about the way they are able to blend in all the science with these characters who aren’t as familiar with as they’d like to think. Plus we are introduced to more creatures that we aren’t totally prepared for and these Piranha type fish yeah great stuff that i’d love to see more of because it really has that effect on a reader.
There are so many elements that are going on in this story that really just blend sci-fi/horror in ways that take you to by surprise and to movies that you loved from the past and make the homage seem just that much greater that they can be used again in such innovative ways. I mean there are shades of the Piranha and Alien movies in this that work as naturally here as they do in their original format. Plus the entire journey they take through this issue seems so much more massive than it reasonably should, it seems like they are on this space ship with so many corridors and passageways that are derelict and unused, forgotten to time where those that used have long since passed away.
As we get to the final pages all the shocks, twists and surprises keep coming to a point where as a reader i’m pretty much in disbelief. Kel managed in one issue to take this to a completely new level of sheer awesomeness that I didn’t think could possibly happen. This is the definition of MUST read material.