In space it is wise to carry a big gun

Publisher: Image
Story: David Hine & Brian Haberlin
Art: Brian Haberlin
Colours: Geirrod Van Dyke
Letters: Francis Takenaga

When last we left the lighthouse there were space pirates and our heroes, the robot Moses and his human mistress Vasquez, were making an escape. There was more going on but that’s the basic gist. Things get deeper this issue as we start to get hints of backstory, a new character and reveals of what might be to come. 

Once again Moses the robot holds my attention because well…he’s a beautiful designed robot with a caring streak. He makes a really great foil to Vasquez as he tries to help her (with drugs, naturally) and support her slightly crazy ideas (which use guns, naturally). He’s the sensible friend every person in space suffering from PTSD and wondering what to do about space pirates needs. 

Vasquez herself reveals at least a little bit about herself. Here we see the soldier, the soldier with PTSD who relies on medication just to function, and she’s lost access to that medication due to space pirates, so she’s having to make do with whatever Moses can come up with. She’s still strong and fearless but that vulnerability with what’s happened to her in the past makes her a more interesting character than if she was simply good with guns (which incidentally she is). We start to see more of  what sort of things have shaped her into what she is and we get strong hints of her past in the Seraphim wars, a past which it seems she cannot escape even out in the deepest of space. 

Speaking of space, said space is beautifully realised through the art as is the planet and the ship interiors. The panel layouts give the feeling of drawing you through the action and being there in the best way. For me this is one of the best laid out comics out there at the moment, with some really interesting choices in the way the story is told. It gives a real dynamism to not only the action but also the character moments and there are plenty of those, with the art giving life to those moments with strong expressions and details.
It’s the details that really immerse you in the world, whether it’s within the technology, the alien forms of the various pirate characters, or Moses’s mechanical fingers (which I love). There’s always something interesting to pick up on and it pays to reread which is always a good sign with any book.

Another good sign is the fact that new characters are introduced and add something. In this issue we meet Davis who is useful to have along as she’s the sole survivor from the ship the pirates crashed last issue. She is a very different character to Vasquez and provides a nice counterpoint to her. Davis also provides information about past events that turns out to directly relate to Vasquez. It’s a subtle way to learn more about our protagonist. 

We don’t get to see too much of our pirate protagonists but the ending gives us a hint that there’s some past there to be explored. We also get to learn about the alien nature of some of the pirate crew such as Arcadia who is sentient liquid? That helps give the sense that this is set in a realm that is unlike our own. I love the real classic sci-fi feel this book has. 

This issue was just fun to read as was the first issue with added dollops of character interaction and background. I’m pretty invested in seeing how things develop. Also Moses is the best robot you’ll have read about this year.

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