Saturday, March 23, 2013

Storm Dogs #4

Written by David Hine
Art by Doug Braithwaite

Storm Dogs is a rare comics series.  It's an intelligent, thoughtful science fiction title with fantastic art, that features detailed world building, well-developed characters, and a number of surprises and twists on its way through the story.  It's the kind of science fiction that I wish would show up on TV and in movies; something engaging, balanced, and with relevance to our world.  In some ways, this is Avatar done correctly, but that seems a little reductionist.

So much has happened in this series that I find it hard to believe that we are only four issues into things.  This issue opens with Sheriff Starck fighting with his deputy, Bronson, who he has decided is involved in at least one, if not all of the murders that have brought a special group of investigators to the planet of Amaranth.  Bronson goes to the mining consortium that he has secretly been working for to lick his wounds, and to help them in their interrogation of a Joppa, the race that seems to run things on the planet.  There is some sort of secret that the Joppa are keeping about some mysterious gems.

Our heroes, the investigative team being led by Cassandra Burroughs, make their way to a village of Elohi, a group that are roughly analogous to minimally-contacted tribes that live in the Amazon, where they are hoping to learn more about the work of the anthropologist, Professor Sarlat, who once stayed with them.  This leads in turn to more mysteries.

We also get to learn a little more in this issue about the wireheads - people who rent out their body so that others can move and manipulate them.  This practice is illegal in the rest of the Union, but appears to be tolerated on Amaranth.

In the letters' page, Hine talks about having the story prepared for a second mini-series, and discusses the potential for much more Storm Dogs, if the demand warrants it.  I hope that this series gets the chance to continue to run, as Hine and Braithwaite have built an interesting world, with the potential for many more stories.  Reading the text pieces show that this is a fully realized universe he's setting his stories in, and it's one I would like to learn a lot more about.  Please check out this series.

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