Publisher: Image
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Letterer: Dave Stewart

This was such an emotional issue for me. I’ve read the story of Laika, the first dog in space who sadly never made it back, and it’s not a happy tale. It’s even more heart wrenching to see Laika herself relive her memories as she’s abducted in space. There are entire pages here devoted to the thoughts and feelings of a dog going over her past and it’s so damn moving.

I mean, honestly, if you have any fondness for dogs, or animals generally, then you will probably tear up as little Laika floats through psychedelic space reflecting on the good and bad things (okay mostly bad things) that have happened to her. We see her rough time on the streets, her capture, experimentation and her final journey. It’s absolutely beautifully rendered through the art. It feels like we are stepping into Laika’s memories and experiencing her emotions.

Honestly, that could have been the entire issue for me and I would have been satisfied. It takes us up to the arrival of the American monkeys in Laika’s current world. Space time seems skewed but finally Laika isn’t alone. Again so much emotion in the art. A sad little dog against a background of white. All alone and thinking exactly that.

If you have a heart of stone you might be fine but I don’t. As a pet owner myself I was really moved by it. Laika herself is a character you will empathise with.

Of course the human element is not neglected either as Doctor Pembrook undertakes dangerous travels to East Germany. Again there’s a mysterious man in a black hat. Pembrook’s not sure what he’s got himself into but as a scientist who needs answers he will do anything, even risking life and limb by going into East Berlin.

The cold war nature of Berlin is rendered in the art with greys, blues and blacks giving it an unforgiving air and you can sense the danger. There’s little dialogue between characters, only what is necessary. You can feel the tension on the page and worry about Pembrook. What has he got himself into? But there’s a really great payoff when we see who he meets at the secret rendezvous.

I think this is a really strong issue. It relies on the art to tell the story and the art does so beautifully. The crazy space style contrasting with the human world but still each style makes perfect sense relating to the other. The transitions are great.

It’s hard sometimes to review a really good comic that just blows you away so yeah Primordial #2 is one of those. I just say read it. You will not be disappointed.

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