Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Universal War One: Revelations #1-3

by Denis Bajram

It took me a while to track down all the issues of this French comic translated into English, but it was well worth the effort.  As much as I liked the first volume of this series, I enjoyed this one much more.

In the first series, the members of Purgatory Squadron, a group of misfits who were part of the United Earth Force (UEF) were sent to destroy a wormhole weapon (how Farscape!) operated by the Colonization Industrial Companies (CIC), an insurgent force fighting against the UEF.  The men and women of Purgatory emerged from the conflict three days into their past.

As this title opens, the Purgatory crew are rushing against the clock to destroy a wormhole station that is poised to destroy the Earth.  They are unsuccessful, Earth is destroyed, and they are again sent through time and space.  The story, as it plays out over three extra-sized issues, follows the ever-shrinking members of Purgatory as they try to stop the CIC for all time.

There is a lot of very hard science fiction in this title, involving time travel, wormholes, teleportation, and how foreknowledge can be used to influence societies.  Bajram uses some truly complex ideas, but integrates them into the story seamlessly, as the plot remains character driven.  The universe he portrays is very well-constructed and rich.  Each issue contains about as much content as a year's worth of a mainstream North American comic, and it is a treat to read a story so dense and yet so compelling.

Bajram's art is beautiful.  He does well with the human aspect of his story, but is also at his best when showcasing scenes of mass destruction or outer space.  This is a wonderfully designed comic.  I wish that there were more pieces of work of this caliber being produced in the US.

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