Satellite Falling #1
Written by Steve Horton (@tropicalsteve)
Art by Stephen Thompson (@_thompson)
Colors by Lisa Jackson
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Review by Joey Braccino
“I need to move on from my old life. From you.”
After losing the love of her life, Lilly takes up a job as a taxi driver on Satellite—the orbital metropolis floating just outside Earth atmosphere. She hopes that running from Earth will help her move on from the memories of Eva, and that it’ll get her to feel something and do some good. As if that pathos weren’t enough, Lilly also happens to be an undercover bounty hunter on Satellite, and she gets caught up in a crazy dangerous operation for the police.
Yeah. Satellite Falling #1 is a wild comic book. But at it’s core, it’s a book about loss and the lengths to which we’ll go to break ourselves out of the despair that comes along with it. It just so happens that these “lengths” involve insane undercover inter-alien-species drug ring busts, but still.
Steve Horton and Stephen Thompson do a hell of a lot of work in this first issue. In addition to gorgeously illustrating and visually building the world of Satellite—all of its diverse species of alien, its futuristic architecture, its specific physics and transportation, its slums and back alleys—there is also ample time spent establishing Lilly’s complex characterization. From the very first page, Lilly’s wry sense of humor is contrasted with the deep pain, regret, and loss that she feels for Eva. She is a dynamic character throughout the first issue, as she moves between badass bounty hunter to coy comrade-in-arms to empathetic savior. The “politics” (both literal and sexual) of Lilly’s interaction with the Zaim, Chief of Police, lead to the aforementioned op that takes up much of the last half of this issue, and it all leaves Lilly in a bit of a pickle at the cliffhanger ending. Horton paces the issue perfectly given the sheer amount of legwork Satellite Falling #1 does in terms of character and world-building. Really effective storytelling.
Aside from the expertly crafted protagonist, the primary draw to Satellite Falling is going to be the brilliant visual experience from Stephen Thompson and colorist Lisa Jackson. Reminiscent of the futurist sci-fi aesthetic and creature-design of The Fifth Element or Guardians of the Galaxy, Satellite Falling is rich with detail and diverse images of the background population and technology on Satellite. Combine Thompson’s engaging lay-outs and jam-packed panels with Jackson’s otherworldly ambers, blues, and oranges, and you’ve got a unique visual experience from start to finish.
BUY! Horton & Thompson do a ton of excellent world-building in Satellite Falling #1, giving us a clearly defined, expansive sci-fi realm set just beyond our atmosphere. While the visual elements are certainly exquisite, it’s the distinct character and voice of protagonist Lilly that draws us in. Satellite Falling is a promising new series from IDW–Check it!