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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Phaeton Proterra. Maria Lantsuta. (Writer and Art) WP Comics (2016)

Very entertaining science fiction story that has an intriguing context that is skilfully used. Humans can travel across the galaxy via the Proterra, a parallel info-world. Such a resource is attractive to those who would loot it and so it is protected by a security force, Mercury. An attack by a a serious criminal, Horus is responded to by a Mercury team and it does not go well. The implications and repercussions of the event ripple nicely through the issue setting up story possibilities.
Any first issue has a number problems to solve in a limited space, set up the context for the story, introduce the cast and give the reader a reason to return for the next issue. Maria Lantsuta manages all three with craft and economy. She wastes no time in establishing the context, the opening page takes care of that with a lovely balance between the text and the art. Then the reader is plunged directly into the action as a information burglary develops in an unexpected fashion. The story mixes the private concerns of the cast with their security duties very credibly, the cast are given the space an opportunity to emerge in their own right.
The art is a pleasure to read, the cast move naturally in their context, the action scenes are very well choreographed, they move fast and have an impact, the quieter moments are expressive and thoughtful. The cast are good looking and , thankfully, well proportioned. They move with grace and confidence, their body language is as clear as their speech.
The colouring is subtle and engaging, it is science fiction colouring that quietly and effectively develops the context and details of the circumstances that support the context. The balance between the art and the colouring allows the cast and the action to come to the fore while firmly anchoring them in a specific time and place.
 Maria Lantsuta has compressed a considerable amount of story detail, action and explanation into a single issue without every making it overcrowded or clumsy, the cast have a heartbeat beneath their armor that engages the reader. This is very high quality, crafty science fiction that makes story promises that I look forward to being delivered in unexpected and intriguing ways.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by Kim Roberts, to purchase a copy of Phaeton Proterra, which would be very good idea  since smart science fiction comics are clinically proven to enhance living, you can get it from http://www.wpcomicsltd.com/comics

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