Zenescope Entertainment 2017
Written by Joe Brusha
Illustrated by Sergio Arino
Coloured by Dijjo Lima
Lettered by Kurth Hathaway
One hundred years in the future the “age of pirates” has returned as mankind reaches out for the stars. Schooners have been replaced by star ships and these pirates wield space age weaponry, but they are as bloodthirsty and ruthless as their predecessors were centuries before them. Experience a new universe of swashbuckling action and adventure in the vast reaches of space!
Well here we are with another first issue of a brand new series. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Joe’s a good idea man and the premise here is pretty good. Sure it kind of reminds me a little bit of Firefly a bit but then it’s hard not too considering what we see in these pages. Once upon a time it would’ve been Starslayer Log of the Jolly Roger but now it’s sleek ships and ray guns again. I kind of miss the throwback feel of a Conan Universe set in space ya know but that’s another story for another time.
The Black Sable is the Captain of her own ship. She’s got her own moral code, well as much as a Pirate can after all. Still it makes for at least some interesting aspects of her personality to explore. Seeing the boundaries she is and isn’t willing to cross in the name of a good score yeah that’s the kind of stuff that helps define a character and determine if we as readers are going to like them and want further adventures starring them. While we don’t meet her entire crew we do see enough so that we can tell they aren’t all humanoids. This I like because we’ve seen aliens in other series, that zombie tale for instance, and it looks like we’ll be seeing hopefully some characters from those worlds here.
I am kind of impressed with the interior artwork here. Yes Black Sable’s ship from an outside view kind of looks like it belongs in Star Blazers, which if you are of a certain age you’ll love seeing that reference. The colouring to go with it also gives us a more cartoon vibe as well. When we see the Captain and her crew though I have to say the attention to detail is great and how they are brought to life look utterly fantastic to me! I get backgrounds in space are tricky but more please to at least establish some frame of reference for where they are, on the ship, in space or along those lines.
Not going to lie Joe would really benefit from having a writing partner. I get it he’s proud of what he does and what can do but it just enough. The transitions between story segments were choppy, too sudden and made very little sense while reading. Yes I get that he’s introducing us to other players who will play big roles, presumably, in this but it didn’t have that nice transitional flow to it. It’s more random than purposeful to me and that’s an issue aside from the fact that this woman who apparently works for the Corporation is a complete and utter morally challenged bitch what she uses well that concept is great but we don’t really see that play out like it should to make the maximum impact that it could have.
Then there’s Captain Blood who we kind of see, I’m guessing his visage ends that segment, but don’t really see enough of to have that interlude make sense. Now surprisingly all that we see of Black Sable and her crew has some good solid characterisation attached to it. I like that she sees the disappointment in her crew and recognizes the need to do something about it. That this leads us into another meeting that brings us to her next adventure is done better than I would have thought it would but at the same time it’s very predictable. Still it’s well executed and that’s what really matters.
I usually have a mixed bag when it comes to Zenescope’s releases that Joe is writing. This is has the potential to be incredibly interesting and fun at the same time. Also for a change it’s the men that are under-dressed which is a nice change of pace. The complaints I have are irksome but don’t take that much away from enjoying the story. Though I have to be honest in saying I wish we would see a more consistent vision of this future, the world Oasis is very clean, sleek and futuristic in nature but the people are pirates and dress as such so it has this odd disconnect. Overall though it's definitely worth a look-see.
Not a bad little story and a solid premise for outer-space swashbuckling going on a quest kind of tale.