Tales of Honor #1
Matt Hawkins, Jung-Geun Yoon, Troy Peteri, Betsy Gonia
I will most certainly be SPOILING.
Tales of Honor is a comic book expansion to the universe in David Weber’s novels following the character Honor Harrington. Rarely do I focus on cover art, as the artists inside the book do not always do it. However, one of the covers is visually stunning, portraying the series protagonist and her Treecat climbing a mountain with a city, launch pads, and an armada floating above it. This art, with its detail and vast expansive views brings to mind the sweeping shots of cities and landscapes in the Star Wars movies.
Since I started with the art on the cover, I suppose I will continue with the internal art. The internal art is just that, art, and truly beautiful at that. Each panel looks as if it were done with charcoal, with deft shading and soft lines. The world is portrayed in an orderly and clear fashion, one that fits the perceptions of the truly capable and clear-headed Honor Harrington.
The story opens on a prison ship sailing through the dark reaches of space as we are treated to some exposition from our protagonist. Moments later, we see her chained to a wall in a kind of torture interrogation. Through monologue we find out that the room constantly changes her environment. We know, from the importance of the woman interrogating her, that Honor has become an enemy of Haven in high regard. Honor’s grit is illustrated, as her only real reaction to any of her captor’s words is a smile.
The constant torture and weariness takes its toll and delivers the reader into a flashback of death, destruction and astral debris. After a few meandering moments of dialogue, the scene shifts once more to one of HONOR taking command of her ship, the HMS Fearless, for the first time. For several pages, the dialogue describes the adversity that she has to deal with just by being their new commander. This doesn’t change so much as there is a brief pause in the adversity as Honor is tasked with, and carries out, tactical strategies in a wargame.
Her relatively ingenious plan becomes a political suicide and through a series of unintentional failures brought on by jealousy and the blame game, Honor finds herself reassigned to an end-of-the-road post on Basilisk Station.
There is mention of another battle, with the planet Medusa’s natives after being armed and manipulated, but this is once again considered a foreshadowing memory and passed over.
The comic continues with a scene portraying the commanding officer of Basilisk Station, one with a rather negative history with Honor, saddling the protagonist with the station and intentionally leaving her as short handed as possible. We know she is set up for failure. As a reader, cutting my teeth on this universe for the first time, you get a sense that Honor has been punished for being better on more than one occasion. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.
Finally, Tales of Honor #1 ends back in the torture chamber of the Havenite prison-ship, where a doctor by the name of Wade has been ordered to up the ante of the torture. As the first laser of the tool Dr. Wade is brandishing begins turning off the cybernetic parts of Honor, the words “to be continued” leaves the reader listening for her screams.
Having never been a reader of the novels this comic series is based on, I find myself interested where this artistic marvel is headed. The need for heavy exposition was evident, but broken up with promises of both action and intrigue by the bits of foreshadowing dropped in amongst them. All in all, the art alone would drive me to pick up the next issue, but the story leaves you wondering; in a career this damned, where did it all go wrong?
My rating: 4 / 5