Caliban #1 (Avatar)

CREDIT: Avatar Press

Rating: 4/5 – Ennis’ latest series takes us to science fiction horror.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

Not only is Garth Ennis back writing Crossed at Avatar, but he’s also launching a new kinf of horror series, science fiction, titled Caliban. It’s quite different from what we see with Crossed, and despite some similarities to movies like Alien that we see early on, the story takes some surprising turns and at the end, had me excited for the next issue. When you see the Avatar logo you sometimes come to expect heavy violence or gore, but Ennis puts the story first delivering a solid first issue that leans more on horror and suspense.

The Caliban is a mining ship that’s exploring the deepest reaches of space. In order to get where they need to go, they need to use wormholes and travel through the warp. Because of the time it takes to travel the ship runs on a small crew of five, while most of the ship’s passengers sleep in cryogenic chambers. We’re introduced to the crew in the book’s opening pages. Ennis does nice job of showing each character’s personality despite the limited pages to do so. This is where you feel the similarities to stories and movies we’ve seen before, but Ennis quickly moves past it, and halfway through this issue it becomes something unique. There’s a couple fantastic scenes towards the end that are really memorable, eerily drawn by artist Facundo Percio.

Much like the story, Percio’s art doesn’t impress in the early portion of this issue. His faces look a bit plain and the full page splash of the Caliban ship fails to convey the size and scope of the ship, not to mention that it just looks downright ugly. Towards the latter half though when the horror starts to ramp up, his art becomes a nice fit for the story. The two scenes mentioned above are memorable due to Percio’s art and design. If there’s more scenes like these throughout this series, then this could turn into a surprise hit. This first issue builds a lot of momentum in the second half that has me interested in seeing where this story goes, and I’m happy I gave this book a chance.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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1 Response to Caliban #1 (Avatar)

  1. I enjoyed the book. Plainly evident that Ennis is writing with the dialogue he delivers. Also wonder if he had anything to do with the design of the ship?

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