For those that missed the first issue of this series from Aspen Comics, Will Harden and his wife Jesse, up sticks from Chicago and find themselves in the small town of Turtle Creek. Happenstance, however, always seems to fins you regardless of your location and on one fateful night, Jesse vanishes into a blinding light coming from the stars.
If, like me , you had missed this first issue the blurb inside the cover and the first few pages pretty much bring you up to speed quickly. Prior to finding out about Jesse, we spend some time with Will who is going through his own process of loss, doing random things to try to keep the memory of his missing wife alive. These pages pretty much ground the story and it’s easy to understand Will’s actions. Of course, this is only part of the puzzle and it’s not too long before we catch up with Jesse. This leads to the next big reveal; we know who Jesse is, but Jesse herself doesn’t.
Frank Mastromauro has been Aspen a while, working different roles, including editor. As such, he has been able to craft his skills, culminating in this series. Pacing is important in a story like this. The writer can’t forge too far forward as they would run the risk of leaving some key part forgotten. The fact that the issue starts with a continuation of Will’s loss shows that Matromauro is capable of juggling the various plates of his story. Dialogue wise, it’s fine. I liked the interaction between Will and the Sheriff, the latter coming across very realistically. Later on, some of the dialogue moves into a more functionary style, with the conversation between Jesse and her radio partner coloring the world that she now seems to fit into.
Marco Lorenzana provides the pencils for the book with a style that seems to be at odds with itself in the various environments that this issue covers. In Will’s world, the frames of the characters tend to be a kind of stretched out Manga style, muscular bodies and long legs. There is an abundance of a Manga theme with the convoluted expressions on the characters faces. Moving off world, Jess in parts is like an action film star, poses become more dynamic as the action heats up, before cooling into the most inconsistent part of the book, back at the base. Colors are provided by Justice and Erica Eren Angiolini who had their work cut out for them, covering the beach, the dead of night, an alien world and an antiseptic ward of some kind. I am glad to say they were up to the task.
Missing partners and alien abductions aren’t particularly new stories, but along with interest in the new X-Files series, there is definitely life still out there for this type of story, especially if it’s done to the quality of this book.