By Dustin Cabeal
I’m going to grind out a pet peeve of mine on this review. I hate the title “Exodus.” I don’t care if it perfectly illustrates the theme of the story (which it does), it’s just a title that carries with it a lot of baggage that no story needs. It lacks creativity, and for me, it's a sure-fire way to get me to avoid your book. I say this not because you should avoid Tres Calaveras Exodus, but rather the opposite. Though, in all honesty, if this hadn’t been sent to me for review, I wouldn’t have read it because of the title. And I know that’s stupid, but it’s my pet peeve. So, if you’re sitting on your own “Exodus” comic to send me for review… tread lightly.
Now, as for this issue, it’s off to a good start. An alien race is faced with a choice of fighting to the death with another more horrifying race or flee and live to fight another day. It’s a difficult choice for their Prime. The “Prime” is the chosen leader that develops superpowers that are then used to protect the people. After the death of one of his children, he’s left wondering if it’s a war they can win or if he should instead protect his people.
There are times when the story feels a bit like Invincible which means it also feels a bit like Superman. What lends itself to this vibe (more Invincible than Superman that is) is the fact that the villain isn’t developed as much as our protagonists. Add in the fact that a supporting character is narrating the story, which instantly makes him suspicious and your comic history is likely to fill in the gaps that are left in the story. Which isn’t always a bad thing, but can cause trouble later on if not curved.
The art is fantastic. It’s better than the majority of indie comics out there but is on par with professional work from the big three. Unai Ortiz de Zarate is quite talented and delivers fantastic visuals. Space feels real and vast. Paired with David de Alonso’s coloring and the visuals pop off every page. Seriously this is a great looking book, and the visual storytelling elevates the story for sure.
While I don’t feel it has merit to the review (much like my opening) I would like to point out the fact that the story stars mostly Black characters. If you’re looking for comic book characters that look like you and you’re not finding decent ones at the big two, then you should check out Exodus.
While this story wears its influences on its sleeves, it’s a solid read with talented artwork. It took me longer than I would like to admit to sitting down and write this review, but it was damn close to making my best of list for last year. I think with a couple more issues like this one, and it stands a good chance of showing up at the end of 2017. In the meantime, check out a well-written, and beautifully illustrated sci-fi story with super power elements.
Writer: Emilio Rodriguez
Artist: Unai Ortiz de Zarate
Colorist: David de Alonso
Publisher: Tres Calaveras Studios