Al Ewing, writer
Simone Di Meo, illustrator
Mariasara Miotti, colors
AndWorld design, letters
The opening sequence of the book introduces us to a captain and his ship, The Vihaan, and its crew as they scavenge in deep space. The book fast forwards to the The Vihaan II and the captain’s son, Georges Malik, now the captain of this updated ship. This parallel experience provides the intrigue in the deep space thriller.
A cat and mouse game develops between the galaxy’s law enforcement represented by Paula Richter who has a history with Malik’s father. She is vicious, focused, and intent on holding the captain accountable to the rules in play for carriers of special cargo. I’m not overly enamored with a space story having to do with smugglers and authorities in a competition over scarce resources because these types of stories have been around for a while. However, the book does a nice job of creating the layers in the relationship between Malik and his family. Without spoiling it, I will say that the generational conflict with Paula Richter is the most interesting thing about this first issue.
The art demonstrates the face of Captain Malik creating the mystique of a man trained by the cruel hand of life’s experiences. The colors are bright, the space dark and muddy, the space ships weathered. The visual aesthetic supports the intrigue created by the setup in this issue.
If there is a letdown in the book, it’s that lack of attention is paid to the 3 other crew members on The Vihaan II: Jason, Alice, and Ella. It would have also helped set the scene by building the atmosphere on the ship. As it is, these characters felt more like place holders and not actual participants.
However, in all fairness, the scarcity of the backstory provided for everyone other than Captain Malik helps focus the attention on what the writer wants us to gain from the issue. I’m fascinated to see how the layers unfold as we learn more about the Captain’s true intentions. It would capture my attention to see how the writer flushes out this universe and develops breadth in the story. Overall = 7.5/10