This week, you will not want to miss the newest comic book from Garth Ennis, Caliban #1 from Avatar Press. If you have loved video games like Dead Space and Doom or movies like Alien and Event Horizon, but you also want something really different than anything on the shelves right now, you need to be reading Caliban. The setting of this story is not unusual, but the events that unfold will appease any fan of horror and science fiction.
Caliban #1 begins with five characters. Nomi, the systems officer, is the one who really helps the readers to understand what life on an interstellar warp-ship is all about. The order of the day is dullness, followed by boredom, leading to long bouts of wondering when something will actually happening, but nothing ever does. She would really rather be anywhere else than hurtling along in the Caliban, a ship that, like many, has warp technology, allowing it to travel outside of space and time, intangible and untouchable.
San, Mcartney, Karien, and Canny round out the crew that is awake for the flight while the rest of the folks are in hyper-sleep awaiting landing. San is a tech or comm officer, Mcartney is a mechanic of some sort, and Karien is the navigation officer. Canny brings the coffee and is viewed by the other members of the crew as a little slow.
Things never happen on warp jumps… until they do. Suddenly, the Caliban is caught in mid-warp in some sort of strange ship type object and forced to drop from warp. The problem is that this sort of thing should not be able to happen since, while in warp, the ship is outside of time and space and does not really exist in phase with other matter. The situation is dire as Nomi, San, and Mcartney try to get their bearings and get over the bodily effects of being jolted back to reality, as it were.
Surveying the damage, the first emergency is that the ship has a huge hole and many of the sleeping pods are being sucked into space. There is nothing the crew can do but look on in terror as people float away to their doom. Determined to find survivors, Nomi and San begin to explore, finding that the ship is actually melded with some other thing, which we can see is some sort of ship.
Karien had left the bridge and is trapped in another part of the ship. Upon exploring one of the new “walls” that has appeared blocking his way, he sees that he can open it. He finds a long dead alien being that slowly crumbles to dust and dissipates into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, Nomi and San are still trying to find other survivors.
I will say that I really loved the visuals in this book. Facundo Percio uses lines and colors so beautifully to capture the fear of the crew and the deadly convergence of the two ships. The story is one of disaster in space, so not completely new, but the way that Ennis writes, drawing out those feelings of loneliness even when among others and the deep fear of uncertainty and the unknown, really makes this a new thing and kept me interested through the last page. I will say that I am excited to see what happens next. The questions that need to be answered, such as how the ships merged, who the alien is and why he is dead, and what will happen to the crew and the survivors, are what will bring me back next month. I recommend this book as something really cool that you should be reading.
My Rating: 4.5/5