Thursday, November 8, 2012

Storm Dogs #1

Written by David Hine
Art by Doug Braithwaite

I've been looking forward to this new science-fiction series since I saw it solicited - David Hine is a very talented writer, and Doug Braithwaite is a terrific artist; also, there is just not enough intelligent science fiction in the world, and I wanted to read some more.

Last week's CBLDF Liberty Annual had a short story which introduced one of the characters of Storm Dogs, and established that Hine's future world has a great deal of complexity and history to it.  Now, with this first issue, I feel pretty confident that this is going to be a good series.

The setting for this issue is Amaranth, a remote world at the edge of Union control.  It is being used for mining, and interaction with the indigenous races is kept to a minimum, as they are not very technologically advanced.  There has been a problem in the mining community, as mysterious attacks have been leaving miners dead.  A group of investigators is dispatched, and they arrive just as a new attack is being carried out, although not in time to stop it.  Things are made more difficult by the presence of a storm - it seems that the rain on Amaranth is acidic, or deadly in some other way that affects human skin (although not indigenous).

Hine has filled the book with some interesting looking characters.  The investigators are not developed too much, although by watching them interact with their families via the future version of holographic Skype, we do get to learn a few things about them.  Likewise, the two police on the planet are shown as grizzled archetypes, but I suspect there's a little more going on below the surface.

I also get the feeling that much of this book is going to revolve around the human's meeting with the indigenous races.  There might be something of an Avatar (the James Cameron movie) thing going on here, except that it's intelligently written.  Braithwaite has done a terrific job of visualizing this world, and I look forward to reading the next issue.

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