Ready for another review?
This week is Meteora #1. This issue was written by Artem Gabrelyanov, with art by Konstantin Tarasov, colored by Anastasia Katerinich, and lettered by Svyatoslav Kaverin. The book was edited by Roman Kotkov.
As always, we’re using the Prince song system: Adore means buy it, Beautiful Strange means take it or leave it, and When Doves Cry means don’t buy it.
Ready? Let’s go!
This is a space adventure of a group of down-on-their-luck smugglers who happen on a huge score. One is a human (Meteora, because she has a feisty personality, otherwise she’s just Ora to her friends), one is anthropomorphic cat named Push (think more along the lines of a tiger, or the Kzinti if you’re old like me), and a small, furry, almost-squirrel like mammal named Ziggy. It’s got a bit of a Guardians of the Galaxy film to it. As a child, Ora watches her father die in an explosion in space; Push is of the royalty of his race; and Ziggy is a very curious thief . In movie terms, Ora is Quill, Push is both Drax and Gamora, and Ziggy is Rocket.
The group is hired to take a million credits to a planet as a bribe. Ziggy wants to see what it looks like, so opens the crate and finds a sphere in it. Of course, touching happens, and Ziggy finds that he can’t remove his hand from the sphere, and worse, his hand and arm are slowly being sucked in.
Inside the sphere is a “baby black hole”, and instead of bribing a government, the black hole was meant to take out the entire planet of a system.
I have problems. Not with the story, but with the science, as I know it.
I believe in science fiction. I believe that science should enhance the fiction. I don’t believe that is happening here.
Black holes super-dense points of singularity. Their density increases their gravity, and the gravity is so intense that not even light can escape it. Hence, “black hole”. Now, planets in a system each have their own gravity, and they have their own mechanics that keep them orbiting a star. The removal of a planet will disrupt the system, possibly destroying all life within that system. The replacement of that planet with a black hole will also disrupt the system, destroying all life within it.
I don’t mind comic book science. Hell, you have to throw out a lot of what you know when dealing with superheroes so your brain doesn’t explode because of the impossibility of what they do. All that aside, the basic gist of black holes isn’t lost on the writer. They’re using it, but they are then ignoring the rest of the ramifications. The editor should have had a decently long talk with the writer about this before going ahead with it. I don’t know if that was done or not.
Other than that and the obvious tropes, this was a good read. I enjoyed it.
The art is really what makes this story sing. This is a space romp, and I loved seeing the aliens (even the early Easter egg for those who looked). They showed imagination. I had no real problems with the anatomy. Some of it reminded me of early Wildstorm, which is a good thing. I’d hire Konstantin Tarasov in a heartbeat. There were times where there seemed to be too many silent panels in the beginning, but I’m hoping some of what was seen will pay off in later issues. Otherwise there’s a pacing problem that the editor should have fixed.
I also liked the coloring. The light source was generally consistent, there weren’t any inexplicable lens flares, and the palette was chosen well. Artistically, this team did their job well.
The lettering could use a small polish, though. Some borders were needlessly broken, the tails didn’t always point to mouths, and the balloons themselves were too tight to the letters and sometimes too oval. Some of that could be the fault of the artist in not always taking the lettering into account when laying out the page, but definitely not all of it. Some of it could also be the fault of the writer in trying to put to many words into a smaller panel, but again, definitely not all of it. There were also crossbar I’s showing up where there shouldn’t be, and a European way of expressing of what we would consider a decimal that felt strangely out of place, despite the fact that this book was done by what looks like a team of Russians.
I don’t mean that in a disparaging way at all. The language read very much like native American English speakers, which is a great thing if that was the target audience. It just needed a little bit more editorial oversight.
If the editor oversaw the entire production, then they really fell down on the job with the lettering. The lettering is the biggest letdown of the entire comic. It calls some attention to itself when it shouldn’t. Never a good thing.
Overall, though, this was definitely a good read. I enjoyed it, and the characters were intriguing and funny. Ziggy stole the show.
Final Verdict: Adore