Out now on Amazon Kindle, this new Sci-Fi anthology is from British comics legend Pat Mills.
From Pat Mills, creator of 2000AD and developer of Judge Dredd, comes SPACEWARP, a British Science Fiction comic of great NEW hero comic strips for the Science Fiction world we live in today. Featuring Special Forces One at war with Giant Viruses! Jurassic Punks versus Dinosaurs! Xecutioners: authorized to terminate Aliens! Slayer – one Robot in a Galactic war against a million Space Knights. Hellbreaker escapes from Hell to punish the Living. Fu-tant – a terrifying school for Mutants!by Pat Mills (Author), Ian Ashcroft (Illustrator), Mike Donaldson (Illustrator), Ade Hughes (Illustrator), James Newell (Illustrator), Gareth Sleightholme (Illustrator), Bruno Stahl (Illustrator), Lisa Mills (Editor)
Kicking off with an excellent idea of a framing technique for the whole comic is Slayer. This helps us understand the worlds that the comic is set in and gives us not only some excellent crossover potential but some high-level antagonists and a protagonist. I really like the concept of the ‘cosmic police’ and the dealings with cosmic law. The warped ones are a good trope to use in this and there are some excellent lines as it leads us into this new space warped world.
Jurassic Punx takes us to another world and back in time. Yes there are dinosaurs, but not that far back. It takes us back to the heady days of 70’s Liverpool. With dinosaurs. The dinosaurs have invaded through the warp, and we have a rogue professor trying to get back to his family.
I did like the crack about protecting the South.
There is a nice modern twist as a time traveller joins the fray and there are some good cultural misunderstandings going on. This was a smooth entry into this world. I enjoyed the art and the style of the dinosaur attacks.
Hellbreaker moves us to hell. First, we have an interview – and it’s a police interview with a head. The head in question is an unlikable lawyer who has escaped hell. It works really well, and I enjoyed reading the transcripts of the beginning of the interview – it leads us in really well. We get teased with some reasons, why this ex-con has broken out of hell to punish the evil, and there is some good political black humour here. We get some nice action pieces too.
Fighting back against the alien menace is Xecutioners. This was a slow start, with a lot of exposition. It had some really good moments though and sets up the story well. The premise of the aliens and what they do/have done is really well worked. There is some good world-building here, with some nice teases of what has gone previously. I liked the hints and the technology in this issue.
SF1 brings us a different type of fighting unit. More of a ‘dirty dozen’ type unit, fighting against giant viruses. As before, there is some history to get through, but it throws us into the action well, and even adds some interesting points over how much of us is human.
The character differences will make this a compelling story to read through.
Fu-Tant takes the ‘mutant school’ premise and turns it on its head in a really creepy and classist way. The headmaster is really creepy and I get shades of Kingsmen, X-Men, No Hero and more here. I like the decisions to be made and the part about the powers. This links nicely into the high-level arc of the comic.
We get some more Slayer here, and I really am starting to enjoy this character. I like the fact we get more details on the cosmic law and the fight scenes are really well done – as is the explanation on how the Slayer can be so good.
This was an excellent read – it has some good re-read value, and I’m sure I will be sitting down and re-reading it again. The anthology-style is one of my favourites.
There are going to be obvious comparisons with 2000 AD, and I think that does have a little merit, but this is something different. It has different stories and it’s sci-fi, but the warp link between them all is something new and the raw style of the stories takes me back.
This is an excellent read, and I’d recommend it to any fan of sci-fi and UK comics.