Story: Daniel McLaughlin and Kevin “Gio” Logue
Art: Team Uproar
Publisher: Uproar Comics
Release Date: January 2014 (Issue #0) November 2014 (Issue #1)
I’m a huge science fiction fan, so I was pretty excited that I got the chance to look at Leap, a sci-fi title from Ireland-based Uproar Comics.
The book revolves around the crew of the Vanguard, an interstellar ship, tasked with finding a new home for humanity. All is not what it seems to be however, and the crew quickly find themselves in a most dire position.
The very first thing I noticed in the prelude issue was the amazing artwork. It’s mostly, if not all CG, but boldly outlined with some other added elements of detail that really make each panel pop. The first page of the opening issue is just amazing, no other way to describe it.
Unfortunately, outside of the artwork, the book is a little less than what I’d hoped it would be, in terms of the story.
One of the Novians, the name given to the pre-industrial species discovered on Alpha Nova, mistakes a crew member conducting a planetary survey for a deity. Later, a different Novian attacks and captures Pol, another crew member.
So, there’s sort of a disconnect amongst the small hunter/gatherer-on-the-cusp-of-agricultural-civilization society in how they view their human visitors. Usually that makes for some interesting complexity, but here it feels contrived.
Normally I could get past that, I mean, this is science fiction, so that might’ve been a commentary on the clash of civilizations trope, but then there’s the dialogue. In and of itself, it’s not that bad, really, but the decision to end almost every sentence with an exclamation point left me at a loss. Either every statement was a bold assertion or the characters are just really, really excited to be talking to each other after their 86+ year hypersleep.
There is some intrigue regarding the Vanguard’s true mission and just who knows the goals of that mission and what that means for the crew. The mystery surrounding the Prime’s realization of the clandestine nature surrounding the Vanguard is ultimately the best that the story has to offer.
In the next issue, the artwork takes a big hit and loses a lot of the definition that made the opening issue so great to look at; the issue looks as if it’s mostly screen captures with dialogue bubbles added in later. That coupled with some editing problems, makes for a clunky read that never quite gets going in the direction that it wants — what could’ve been a great science fiction suspense tale, just unravels into a something that’s funny for all of the wrong reasons.
There is an animated version of the book available, so that decision (some of the dialogue choices and screen captures) could have been part of an attempt to translate the tone of the story, in a true to form way. The trailer for Leap is great and I’ve little doubt that in the motion comic, or even CGI movie format, this is an enjoyable tale. I’m just not sold on it as a digital or traditional print comic.