Red 5 Comics 2019
Written by Jim Ousley
Illustrated by Ben Sawyer
In Black Star City, alien outworlders are being systematically attacked and removed from society by a clandestine paramilitary group call the Overseers. When fugitive cop-turned-mercenary Syd Kiowa is contacted by a victim who escaped their grip, she is thrust into a horrifying war of secrets that will determine the future of human and alien relations on Earth forever.
The more books I read from Red 5 the more I am impressed I become. This a great first issue introduction to a series with a strong premise and some extremely good writing and interior artwork. The fact that it's different from other books that might, notice I said might, fit into a similar field in the genre. Who knows what the future will look like but the idea that species from outer space come to Earth seeking refuge is a nice touch. Thank god the current world leaders are around or they'd all be dead or strapped to a table somewhere. Regardless I like the idea and then of course there are those who when the fear what they don't know or understand attack them instead and be cruel in ways that decent folk find hard to understand.
I really like the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see here through the release of information and how we are introduced to the characters is very well done. The character development is interesting and I like how during the opening and then meeting Syd and the realisation of the two was definitely unexpected and that moment for me just upped the interest factor. The way we see the two with and against each other is sensation to see. When you add the spacing to this so that we get to see the twists and turns which are subtle and I like because if you don't read carefully enough you'll miss the good bits.
What I am really enjoying about what Jim is doing here with his writing and how we have been introduced to the characters. While I may not have found one that I am rooting for in any manner I am awfully intrigued by a few of those we see. Rags for one and if Syd built her or not. The other is the one in either that mask or is a robot with hair, he—totally guessing on that—has power and seems to be some kind of leader and the ambiguous air surrounding him is so well done that it does indeed raise the intrigue factor.
The interiors here are really interesting. Ben's imagination gets a chance to really soar here. We get to see some truly unique alien species and with the strength of the linework and how the varying weights are utilised to create the attention to detail really brings them to life beautifully. Also the way that we see backgrounds here is phenomenal! They are prolific and work to enhance to moments as well as bring a size and scope to the story is sensational. I mean there are some very stand out wow moments throughout for sure! The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective that we see in tje panels show a really strong eye for storytelling. The colour work is well done as we see some interesting colour choices in the aliens alone. Also the way that we see light sources utilised to create shading is beautiful to see. I am loving the interiors here and how they make the story really come alive.
This issue works on intrigue, not only within the story itself but in the fact that we don't really know the characters yet. We only have a surface glance at them but that's enough to get us to want to see what lays underneath. I'm telling you if your store isn't carrying this you need to have them correct that stat!