Astronaut Ink 2015
Created, Written & Drawn by Joe St. Pierre
Benjamin F. is the most gifted hacker of his age. In his online identity as The Liberaider, he and a group of hacktivists from the Killer Vapor site became targets of the Dinosaur Corporation. After stealing an unknown liquid metallic substance from the Dinosaur database, Benjamin encountered two assassins who attacked and seeming drowned him in the liquid metal.
There’s a real unique creativity on display here from Joe. The liquid metal is a nice substance and whatever it’s truly made of will hopefully be explored as the series progresses but for now it’s a nice mystery. That we’re getting in on the ground floor of Benjamin and what he becomes from the beginning instead of having him be the hero and having to backtrack and learn about him keeps this fresh. Yes Benjamin is a hacker and his brain is wired differently than most so seeing him go with the flow and think quickly on the fly is something I actually expect out of him. Joe showcases this nicely too.
While computers and computer based powers aren’t new they have been underutilized and underdeveloped at the level we are beginning to see here. It’s very evident that some solid research has been done so that the actions he takes are plausible. For me reading this it’s like watching an updated Hackers meets Heroes and that has my full attention and some great appeal. While I can never get too much hard science behind things computers and how they work and what can be done with them aren’t necessarily layman terms easy to tell but here I can follow along easily enough and be entertained along the way.
Visually i’m impressed with the what we get inside the computer reality as well in actual reality. Both are distinctive and have some great attention to detail, the pixelated effects on some of the inside imagery really made this more exciting to see. Meanwhile the real world with it’s attention to detail in things like the bridge, water and explosions showcase a good grasp of how to differentiate the realities.
What happens with Benjamin through his consciousness and his body’s subsequent recovery leaves little room for doubt that he has all the makings of a hero but with his hacker background that’s the big question mark. Will he do what’s right because it is or will he do things the same way circumventing the law to do it his way? Regardless this is the birth of a hero unlike you’ve seen thus far and it’s an exciting journey to be taking.
There’s a backup story here as well and it deals with a being known as the Lion. This one makes me excited. I’m a huge Ancient Egypt fan and the mythology of their gods and their Pharaoh's so that the Lion comes from this time and place has me looking forward to seeing and learning more about him.
Even better is that a pair of archeologists uncover his tomb in the way they do is not only exciting but would be kind of plausible in a fantastic way. With modern technology advancing at such fast rates finding what they do isn’t unbelieveable and that the Ancient Egyptians would have been able to create this shouldn’t be underestimated, after all we still have a hard time really understanding how the Pyramids were built.
As I find myself getting further and further away from the Big Two’s offerings I come to appreciate the talent, love and passion creators like Joe have for what they do. This is by far a more cohesive, well constructed, well executed story that has real life basis mixed with the superhero mindset and it’s a rare breed that should be explored by everyone!