For a genre that is all about imagination and far-flung planets, Sci-Fi has a tendency to cover the same angles. Here in this first issue of The Cold Wave from Qam Comics, the old aliens living on Earth trope gets a run out. Now, whether its “V”, “3rd Rock From the Sun” or even “Doctor Who” aliens living here always tend to have one pesky agenda or another. This time ’round its to watch and judge human kind to determine if we are ready to take our place on the intergalactic stage or are we doomed to fail and face extinction.
Damon Rush is a private eye. His job is to watch people, investigate and solve problems. In addition to this, he is also an alien. One of many that have taken posts within Earthly society. Through Damon’s interactions we get to see a little of the structure of his world view. His compatriots have strict rules; rules that it seems that some people don’t stick to. Fraternization of the intimate kind is frowned upon, yet indiscretions happen. Even Damon gets involved at the behest of a fellow chapter leader, though in nothing as personal as sleeping with a human.
The book is written by Quinton Miles who delivers a dialogue that effectively sounds just off enough to get your mind wandering. I picked up this book blind, meaning I hadn’t done any research. So it goes to show just how effective the dialogue and inner monologue is in portraying a character that just doesn’t feel right. Miles also excels with the pacing of the story, using a shock tactic to grab your attention, before going into what others may think is “exposition mode” which is handled well through Damon’s and Susan’s discussion, hinting at some animosity without actually giving the whole game away. There is a conclusion of sorts, yet this is just a means for Damon to walk through the door of choice with the unknown ramification lying in wait.
Vladimir Kuzmanov provides the art which whilst not heavy in details or even consistent in anatomy, does enough to convince your eye of what you are seeing. Bearing in mind this is a small press book, I am not sure you can compare the art to more mainstream books. Still Kuzmanov tries hard with good camera angles. It’s not the sort of book that requires big splash art yet Kuzmanov tries to move away from a utilitarian approach to panel layouts with a couple of larger panels geared towards “the big reveal”. The colors by Lemuel Calpito are, for the most part, darker than I expected. There are a couple of lighter scenes that adds some contrast showing that Calpito is flexible enough to try different approaches, not just relying on black on black.
For a book whose central idea is steeped in Sci-Fi tradition, I was surprised at how enjoyable the book was. This is due to the fact that the reader can buy-in to Damon as a character. Miles hints at a larger pool of aliens which in turn will only enhance the book and the various problems that each observation may bring.
The Cold Wave is available on 3rd May, from Comixology.
Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 3 Stars
Colors – 3 Stars