By Cat Wyatt
Prism Stalker #4 is here, and Vep is continuing on her journey and training to try and fit into the new world she’s been brought to. In the last issue, a new sort of battle practice was thrown at her, and things did not go well. We already know that there’s no room in this academy for slackers, so Vep must succeed if she wants to continue to live here.
This issue starts out with a sharp reminder of just how difficult the training has been for Vep. We see her climbing some dangerous cliff faces, dealing with combat after a fall, and who knows what else has been going on.
The injury Vep earns here seems to have caused some sort of flashback. She’s back in her last colony. Back when Rahelia was still around. There’s a tourist in the area, and Rahelia is determined to convince the stranger to take her with them. Maybe she was hoping for a new life for herself, or maybe she was hoping to find a better home for her family, much like Vep is trying to do now. Regardless it seems like Vep was left alone and that cut her to the core.
When next we see Vep they’re waking up in the medical ward. She seems to be mostly healed, which is fortunate based on the rambling of one of her roommates. It’s unclear whether her roommate here is losing it or has painfully accurate insight for what is going on. Let’s hope for Vep’s sake it’s the former.
While heading to her next class Vep hears two people speaking Inaman, the language of her home planet. One would think she’d be able to find friends or allies among these people…but it turns out that they’re from opposing tribes. You’d think that in an environment like this it wouldn’t matter at all, but apparently to these two it does. Such a shame. This will likely further the feelings of isolation Vep has been experiencing.
Today Vep’s class is being brought outside of the standard safety zone. They’re to head to the sanctuary, which is a more religious place for most. However since it isn’t in nearly as secured of an area there’s still quite a bit of risk, as evidenced by the native that attacks the organic building. Some of the older students handle it…but it shakes the newest students, especially Vep, to their core. They got a good sense of what they’re going to be going up against, and it looks like an impossible feat.
As mentioned above Vep has been struggling with certain parts of her training. She just can’t seem to master the newest level of pneumatic combat. It almost seems like she’s too scared to let go of her control, which as a result is holding her back, but it’s hard to say.
No matter how you look at it, Vep is in trouble. Those that fail out of the school are expelled into the labor force – not a job anybody sane would want. Thankfully one of her teachers sees some potential in her, and is willing to give her one final chance. So Vep has to fight a low level enemy locked in a room. She has to survive and take it down. Or she fails and is either killed or sent to the labor forces. Not great options, but at least it’s a chance.
Vep sees and hears things during this battle…things that she probably wasn’t supposed to, based on her teacher’s questioning. Perhaps there’s more going on to this planet they’re colonizing than meets the eye? It stands to reason that they’re colonizing by force, based on what we know about the native hostiles, but there’s got to be more to it than that…
This series has been so unique and interesting. Even when it dips down slightly in pacing it’s still got such a story to tell. Here’s hoping they start to reveal more about what is happening in this world, as many fans are very curious about it.
The artwork, as always, is striking. A story like this could never be supported by anything less than the style given here. It’s oddly eerie despite the bright and vibrant colors. It should be garish, but the organic style keeps the color palette from being such. It’s an interesting blend of styles and techniques.
Prism Stalker #4