REVIEW: PIERCE BROWN’S RED RISING: SON OF ARES #1

I do enjoy catching a new comic series at the first issue. Especially if is a great story. Red Rising Sons of Ares #1 is just that. A very out of this world Syfy tale brought to us by Pierce Brown and scripted by Rik Hoskin. They introduce us to a new take on human exploration of the universe in a more complex way than I’ve ever seen before. Adding a key element that I believe that we would have to do in order to survive on other planets and yet it’s one of our oldest traditions. Evolve. This is where things get interesting right off the bat as we get a rundown on how this was even possible to begin with. Humans altered their DNA as well as making specialized breeding programs in order to make these changes of evolution perfect to the preferred modifications. Granted this didn’t happen overnight but took hundreds of years to perfect as our writers did in a few short pages. Hooked yet? I am! In a few pages the writers had already set up a universe of variables and stories that they could take us on. They had made a galaxy with their pen and I’m getting in my spaceship to explore whatever they write next.

We get a quick introduction of these classes of new humans as they are broken down into colors and of course classes from the worker bees to the upper class. Our lower classes include pink, blue, yellow, and green. Our upper classes include white, silver, and the top of the top, gold. As far as details go of abilities and physiology of these classes have yet to be disclosed but I’m sure we’ll get more of those details as the story continues and you already get a lot in this first issue.
After the introduction and history lesson of our possible future we are then introduced to Varus Au Celinius. Who is singing and dancing his way down the streets of mars. Yes mars has cities now. Varus is soon snagged by group of masked men and women and is tied up to a chair as he is quickly integrated for some codes to his data pad. Varus who obviously is not intimidated, starts breaking down clues to his kidnappers might be by their accents. Varus is a cocky funny man who has been through some crazy tough times as the kidnappers get nowhere with him caving about the password to his data pad. One of them finally has enough of his snarky attitude and slices his hand cleanly in half rendering Varus unconscious. Thus taking us down a rabbit hole of Varus’s past.

Born a runt and left for dead, Varus was born a gold but shunned by all other golds because of his size and stature. Golds were supposed to be the biggest and prettiest of them all and Varus was not that in the least. But the fates were kind to Varus around every corner. At certain points in his life he was able to overcome overwhelming odds and came out on top. When golds reach a certain age they are put through something called The Passage. Which is a coming of age primal survival match with another person their age. Varus was put up against his childhood bully and after taking a beating, snaps, tackles and rips the bully’s neck off with his mouth. Varus is small but don’t back him into a corner. This continues as Varus is then processed through even crazier and crazier situations as he is housed in a group of golds call house of madmen. Which included tribal dancing fires, insanity and cannibalism.

After the catch up on the insane history of Varus we are back in present time where he wakes up and then tells his captors that they will all perish for this. Ending the issue with the building being surrounded.

The art and by Eli Powell is basic and the colors by Jordan Boyd really help out. Its grungy and perfect for this story of a primal gritty future that is a possible outcome of humanity. I believe this story has a great interpretation of through evolution mankind will take on a more earlier primitive nature as we reach out to the stars. This story definitely caught my attention. Will it get yours? Four out of five stars.

Writer: Pierce Brown, Rik Hoskin
Art: Eli Powell
Publisher: Dynamite

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