Review: Sage Escape - Mars Gambit #2

I dove in blind on this series; I haven’t read the first issue and so I had to get a lay of the land just by reading this, the second issue. For the most part everything is pretty easy to grasp. There’s two storylines and while I had no idea what the second storyline had to do with the first, that was the only confusing part about it. Writer and artist Damian S. Simankowicz starts this issue off with the main character Sage as she’s bound with some hand restraints. There’s a bounty hunter with her that is looking to collect on her head, but in this issue we’re not given any reminders as to why that might be. In fact it seems like Sage doesn’t really know everything about herself. There was a massacre in the area they currently are at and Sage’s family are now nothing but skulls mixed in with the rest of her people’s skulls.

Bounty Hunter and captive are forced to work together when Salesmen Assassins descend upon them looking to kill any survivors. The Salesmen work on a hive mind as we’re reminded not once, but twice in full detail. The idea is that if one sees you they all see you so your location is blown if spotted. That means they have to be quick and stealthy.

The second story is of two alien women about to get intimate in a hotel room. One of the women’s fathers seems to be well off since the hotel room is nice, but he may or may not approve of their relationship. That was really all that happened with them.

Since we’re on it, the second storyline contributed nothing to the first storyline. The may in fact be two different stories that are just interlaced in the issue, which is confusing.  If that’s the case, the second story doesn’t stand on its own and fails to do anything other than show alien women. I couldn’t read through it fast enough to get back to Sage’s story.

Sage-Escape-MG-2-CoverAs for Sage her story was interesting, but not perfect. Why the characters managed to give a full breakdown of the Salesmen Assassins’ twice and not once mention why Sage was wanted seemed strange. Also the bounty hunter that captured Sage is worthless the minute he gives her a gun. He misses when he shoots and then never goes for a kill shot. He seemed pointless for the story other than the fact that he had somehow captured Sage, which wasn’t believable due to how inept he is.

The dialogue suffers the most as it never has a natural flow and several times the same character will talk over and over on a panel without interruption. This comes across as exposition for the sake of exposition, but also I couldn’t help but wonder what the other character was supposed to be doing in this instance. Just listening I suppose. There’s also narration and while the writing is better it doesn’t give information vital to the story, just the character’s emotions.

The art isn’t bad, but Sage has some terrible poses. If you look at the awkwardness of the cover you can see what I’m referring to. Her torso doesn’t look like it’s moving with her legs and this is a reoccurring thing throughout the issue. It’s almost as if it’s supposed to be sexy, but it’s not… it’s just awkward. The coloring is actually pretty good for a one person show and provides a lot of life to the visuals.

The charm of this story is Sage, but this issue seems hell-bent on keeping her restrained when really they should let her go. I didn’t understand the second stories purpose at all and frankly just wanted Sage to ditch the bounty hunter and do whatever it is that she came to do. It’s not perfect, but there are some enjoyable aspects of the story. I would like to check out the first issue, but really whether I continued with this series would be determined by the next and final issue in the mini-series.

Score: 3/5

Writer/Artist: Damian S. Simankowicz Publisher: Primal Archetype Price: $2.99 Release Date: 4/9/14 Format: Mini-Series - Digital