Dark Horse Comics 2015
Written by Eric Heisserer
Penciled by Ace Continuado
Inked by Adelso Corona
Coloured by Wes Dzioba
The troops of Caliph Victus scour the galaxy for Shapers—a race of shape shifters from the hidden planet Solace—who Victus believes will bring an end to his reign. One Shaper, Niva, is now his captive.
Racing to rescue Niva (his newfound mother), young Spry has enlisted the help of gunslinger Rand the Galaxian and famed pilot Adagia, as well as Kaylen, another Shaper who is teaching Spry to access his hidden genetic abilities.
Kaylen infiltrated the lair of the Navigator—an alien being in charge of plotting safe courses for all of Victus’s starships—and forced him to reveal the location of the Omen, the Caliph’s flagship. But the Navigator also gave Victus the location of Spry, and in a surprise attack, Victus’s chief enforcer, Tor Ajax, abducted Spry and left Rand, Adagia, and Kaylen with a damaged vessel . . .
Finally mother and son have been reunited but the reunion isn’t cause for a joyous moment since they are both captives of Victus and en route to Solace. I like what happens here because while Spry has never met his father he does receive a visit from him, in his head and that has much to do I think with genetics considering both parents pass down a lot of inherited knowledge already. It’s just another interesting aspect of the Shapers races.
So while mother and son are having their reunion those left behind are gathering their wits after Tor Ajax has left them for dead and repairing their ship so they can head after Spry and honestly have a little revenge for what they’ve been through twice now. I like that this fires up their determination and anger to catch up and do what needs doing regardless that Victus is as big a bad as it gets in this universe.
Spry is full of surprises as well, the kid having grown up not knowing his parents and going to school plus working part-time has really given him a certain skill set, smarts and determination that you can’t get from a loving, stable home. Now that he’s discovered Niva’s truth and knows he has a mom he’s going to fight even harder to be with her and form a life it’s quite poignant really. The characterization is flawless here and it’s so good and integral to keeping the story flowing the way the two flow together is fantastic.
Rand and Tor Ajax have another round of fighting here. This is kind of a wow moment and that’s largely due to the interior artwork. When we finally see Tor’s face inside that mask and how he’s shall we see connected with his suit it’s almost terrifying. The work they do throughout this series has been phenomenal to say the least. The attention to detail the ferocity and intensity of what they put on the page is some of cleanest most expressive art we’ve had the pleasure to see.
Original, unique and utterly gripping this story has really been a breakout star this year for me.