Depending on how Issue Two plays out, this might be a must read. We don't know much going into this comic series. Its storytelling is rooted in video game imagery and language, telling a familiar story with an unusual exterior that could result in a damn cool sci-fi story if carried through. What I know so far is that is one of the best first issues for anything I've read in a bit.
It isn't a fluke of talent either; writer Mike Garley is an established comic creator, as well as a contributor to a number of other mediums. It shows here immediately, with natural dialogue that tells us what we need to know while also holding just enough back so that we don't get the big picture.
The art by Josh Sherwell is solid too, featuring solid compositional work, simple figures that do a lot of talking with few lines, and vibrant colors that match and enhances the action. It looks good enough to be published anywhere it seems, but they went with this indie route, which hopefully pays off because this book will probably keep getting better.
One of the most interesting choices that help elevate the otherwise familiar story is the use of meta elements in the art, involving the comic's software theme, reminiscent of Hideo Kojima's fondness for calling attention to his games as software by breaking the fourth wall. I'm curious to see how this element plays out in future issues and excited for the possibilities.
It might be a little frustrating that I don't give any real specifics about the story here, but that is just because you should read this for yourself and let Garley and Sherwell unfold this world for you instead of some part-time comic critic writing this review in his bathrobe. They do a great job, and experiencing it the way they do it is the best part of the whole book.
I'm going to withhold announcing the second coming of Saga at this point, this book is really a very small introduction that doesn't give you a big picture yet of what kind of story is going to be told. Maybe it'll just become more and more familiar and the choices made here will just come off as neat gimmicks in retrospect, but I need to find that out for myself.
And for the first time in a while I'm really excited to do so.
Writer: Mike Garley Artist: Josh Sherwell Website