Dark Horse Comics 2015
Written by Eric Heisserer
Penciled by Ace Continuado
Inked by Adelso Corona
Coloured by Wes Dzioba
Determined to rescue his newfound family, Spry has entered the world of the holocard game, enlisting the help of legendary gunslinger Rand the Galaxian and famed pilot Adagia—both immortalized in the game. They are headed to the Omen, Victus’s massive flagship, with one more companion—Kaylen, another Shaper!
I don’t know what it is but it seems that lately there are a whole new crop of new creators arising whose talents are really amazing. I love the interior artwork here from the horned mammals to Faminus we see in the opening to the unique look the Shapers take are all rendered with such detail and vibrancy. The artwork here is simply stunning to see and while the story itself is just that good this illustration really makes it that much better. Victus as a child and the kind of person he is shows on his face beautifully.
Victus’s story is almost a cautionary tale unto itself as his father sets out to teach him a lesson and uses the fictional Shapers to warn his son to keep things on the up and up and instead sets him on a course to find them all and commit mass genocide to ensure the he rules for his entire lifetime. It’s interesting to see how this whole thing started and the kind of boy who became a man is so afraid of losing his power he’ll be the universe’s worst villain to retain that rule.
It’s almost like Spry is his polar opposite and the two were always meant to be on a collision course with one another and that Faminus inadvertantly started this war so the two would one day meet like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Seeing Kaylen try to give Spry a crash course in using his abilities is interesting. She’s not much for social graces and finds herself more than a little out of her element but I like how Eric over the course of this issue helps her find her common ground with Spry. It doesn’t help that much that he’s just learned who his parents are and this is what he is so he’s over anxious to prove his worth and rescue his family. Forcing something as big as these changes isn’t going to make things easy but he’s determined and it’s that determination that will serve him well.
Meanwhile Victus has Niva, Spry’s mother, and has just killed her husband and now threatens her with mass death if she doesn’t cooperate. Victus really is insane and what he does however heinous causes Niva to agree to give him Solace’s location. Little do either know however that Spry wasn’t there. Their conversation by the way provides the reason Victus is going to be killed by a Shaper, here’s that self-fulfilling prophecy again, though Victus is so blinded by his mission he fails to recognize it.
All this and more happens this issue and we see some spectacular stuff, from the forms that Kaylen takes to seeing the Navigator including some fantastic betrayal and a twist ending that sets up a wonderful reunion and conflict. Leaving us to wonder can Spry free his mother from Victus’ clutches or will something else happen that will catastrophically change the fate of our characters?
This is an intense, original and unique look at combining something like Yu Gi Oh or Magic the Gathering with science fiction storytelling to create a whole new universe full of awe, wonder and horror.