Image continues its space odyssey reign with Hadrians Wall

first_imgImage Comics’ new series, Hadrian’s Wall, comes from writers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel, and artist Rod Reis. This is the same creative team that brought us the political superhero series C.O.W.L. in 2014, which was one of Image’s best new books of the year.Higgins has been a mainstay at DC Comics for the past few years, working on Nightwing and other Bat-Family titles, and Siegel has frequently collaborated with him on their Image work and Batman Beyond. I really enjoy any books they are on, and artist Rod Reis’ work is fantastic, having this painted feeling that reminds me of something between Phil Noto and Jerome Opena, which is never a bad thing.A murder mystery set in space, the first issue of Hadrian’s Wall reads very much like a standard noir, with our main character, Simon Moore, starting out at his lowest. The year is 2085 on a resource hunting space station, the titular Hadrian’s Wall. Simon is brought in to investigate a death, and quickly realizes things are not what they seem.On a surface level, between space odyssey and noir/drama, comparisons to Blade Runner would not be inaccurate, and fans of the movie would absolutely find something in this series for them. However, this first issue moves past that very quickly, settling into full-on suffocating claustrophobia once all of the characters are on the ship. This occurs through tone and imagery.Higgins and Siegel’s settled on a grand way to kick-off the series, giving us just enough intrigue to get invested in its characters, all without being heavy handed on the exposition. If there is one thing I cannot stand, it’s having information forcefully spoon-fed to readers, but Higgins and Siegel’s dialogue is organic, allowing the characters to reveal what they need to with a natural tempo.The pacing is steady, and issue one ends on a note that makes you eager for two in such a subtle way.Rod Reis’ art compliments the writing so well, creating a fleshed out universe with a look that would make even Ridley Scott blush. I wish more things looked as good as Blade Runner‘s Los Angeles of 2019 and damned if Reis doesn’t knock on that door. Reis’ line work is extremely clean while having just enough of a frayed look. This gives the book a grit and teeth. If anyone is going to draw a dead body in space, I want it to be Reis. His faces and figures are unique, expressive, and distinguishable.Hadrian’s Wall takes the time in both the script and art to focus on the small things as well. The way a character’s eyes cut, how a grimace creeps across a face, all of this Reis nails flawlessly. The creative team gives care to the littlest details, ones that don’t directly influence the plot but help give breath and movement to the story. Well-rounded characters complimenting a complex backdrop makes Hadrian’s a must read.I am a sucker for a well-done science fiction, and Image Comics is no stranger to the genre. Saga, Black Science, Manhattan Projects, and Descender are all some of the best graphic novels out right now, and it looks like Image has another home run in Hadrian’s Wall.Hadrian’s Wall #1 is available for download now via Comixology with issue two due out October 19th.last_img

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