Shrapnel: Aristeia Rising

I recently got a few comics from Radical Publishing to review for GeekDad, and the first one I read was Shrapnel: Aristeia Rising. It's the first of a planned trilogy, a space epic inspired by Greek mythology. Samantha ("Sam") is an ex-Marine captain who is now living on Venus, keeping her past a secret. The world reminds me a little of Gattaca, because the unenhanced "helots" are often at a disadvantage in a world where so many people are gene-enhanced. Venus is one of the last places where helots and "splicers" are equal, at least on paper.

When the Solar Alliance announces that Venus has 48 hours to surrender its independence, the militia calls for volunteers to fight. It's an impossible battle, untrained soldiers fighting the better-organized, heavily-armed Marines. But Sam turns out to be their secret weapon: someone who is not only disciplined and battle-tested, but also knows the Marines' tactics intimately. The creators liken her to Joan of Arc, an unwilling leader who rallies her troops and accomplishes the impossible.

Of course, winning a battle didn't kill off the enormous Solar Alliance, so there's still plenty of room for more.

The artwork, unlike many mainstream comics, looks like paintings and is pretty amazing. Unfortunately I did find it hard to follow some of the panels, particularly in the action-heavy battle scenes. It's just a little too impressionistic to see exactly what's going on, and everyone pretty much looks the same in their battle suits.

Still, I really enjoyed the comic and I'm curious to see where the story goes from here.

(You can also check out my review on GeekDad.)

Fed to jonathan's brain | December 06, 2009 | Comments (0)


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