Image Comics 2015
Written by Chip Zdarky
Illustrated by Kagan McLeod
Colour Assists by Becka Kinzie
Alright so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book I only knew that Chip Zdarksy was involved so naturally my curiosity was piqued. What we end up with here however is a nice take on the whole science fiction travel through a wormhole to another land story that is engaging, different and completely whimsical in a violent way. It really is like our main character Keith has stepped through the looking glass and ended up somewhere reality is quite different than the one we know.
The set up is done so nicely too as we see a space mission with a crew who doesn’t really get along all that well, which in space will happen even among those supposedly compatible. It’s a nice introduction to the characters and their personalities, Keith the Bio-Engineer, Casey a Physicist, Lance the pilot, the Doctor and Samantha whom not really sure what she does but the dialogue is fantastic. They approach an anomaly in space it seems in an asteroid belt there’s a loop that the fragments are rotating around creating a clear path as it were. Unexpected the ship is pulled into the vortex and well it hits the fan.
First death among the crew members happens in space and we aren’t sure how or why but we see it. The rest in escape pods head for the planet below’s surface. Only two land close to each other Lande and Keith’s. Welcome to a bright colourful world, almost what it was like when Dorothy found herself in Oz complete with strange creatures not found at home. I’m impressed actually because this is being handled so nicely and Keith’s scaredy cat nature well you’d think he’d be among the first to die but as you read on you realize this scrawny, smart and incredibly insecure gay man is having the trip of his life and will redefine him forever.
We do get a nice piece of background on Keith talking to his aunt and him wanting to be on this mission. She’s a bigwig and got him on board but he is qualified to be there but nepatism never hurt anyone really. Of course the flashback in a dream sequence is a great way for him to wake up from what he was experiencing with Lance in strange city with people and things that are more advanced and alien than he’s ever dreamed of seeing.
He finds himself in this Conan in outer space type place that has scientists as well the normal barely dressed fighters. It verges on the silly without really crossing over to being too much. It certainly captures the imagination and this is kind of where the whimsy comes in because we learn of the big villain Skullthor he just may be the He-Man of space. When not if you read this you’ll see that there’s solid science behind this, the Earth could be in danger from a threat from another galaxy or the opposite side of ours, we don’t know where the girls are this mixes just enough of everything, including the kitchen sink, to keep you coming back to see what’s going to happen.