(Devil’s Due/1First Comics 2016)
Written by Omaha Perez
Illustrated by Tony Talbert (Chapters 2-5)
and Greg Hinkle (Chapter 1 and back cover)
Front Cover by Bob Eggleton
From the very first moment you pick up your copy of Super Terre.r you are thrown into that classic sci-fi realm that was made popular with cheap dime novels of the 50’s and 60’s, where writers like Harlan Ellison and Ray Bradbury were pumping out stories and getting paid by the word, and where men like Isaac Asimov, through his creative look at the science of space travel and robotics, literally transformed the way future scientists looked at those very same topics.
Written by Omaha Perez (Drude), Super Terre.r drops you immediately into an abandoned alien world and mixes in equal parts thriller and horror story to bring about a fully formed and totally satisfying story.
A company ship crash lands on an alien world out of desperation, it is the closest inhabitable planet, and the descent into madness quickly takes hold. This story focuses on one core group, the captain, the psychologist, her husband, a disgraced archaeologist, and a couple others, but don’t’ get too attached to any of them, because this Earth doppleganger has more lethal surprises up its’ sleeve than you would first thing.
Most of the story is told from the p.o.v. of Dee McCabe, the company psychologist, as they try to figure out who or what is killing the members of the crew and destroying the robotic assistants they deem so vital to the success of their mission. Through her Perez can cleverly deflect or focus suspicion and have it seem totally legit because it is her profession. Meanwhile he is leading us down a far darker path.
The other major character is Davies, the aforementioned disgraced archeologist, who finds the abandoned city on the planet a source of endless fascination. What he sees in those cities changes as the story progresses, first his lifelong ambition, then perhaps, redemption.
Now back to that first moment, the second you open up the file or pick up the book, depending on your preference in reading. The cover art is a fantastic Bob Eggleton piece, something that would look at home on the cover of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, a green mountainous landscape with the tiny figures of our explorers in the foreground.
First chapter now, art by Greg Hinkle (Rattler). I would watch Hinkle draw a bath. It would be a super cool, slightly altered, seriously cartoony bath. I love his style, a mix of Mad Magazine caricature and semi-realism that scratches that arty itch at the back of my brain in the perfect way. His is the kind of art that makes me want to draw more.
The rest of the book is drawn by Tony Talbert (First Moon) and is a great addition to the book. His style is more realistic than Hinkle’s and both that and the change in grey-scaling was a bit jarring as you were going from chapter one to chapter two, but after one section it was as if Talbert had been drawing it all along. He doesn’t shy away from the gory bits, that stuff that edges this from just sci-fi into sci-fi horror, and that makes them all the more scary as the story sinks deeper into the madness it ends up in. Whatever shaky ground the book may have been on because of the art switch was held together by the firm hand of Perez at the helm, penning a script that could probably hold one more art switch had it been needed.
Super Terre.r is a great throwback to early science fiction, one that was a great welcome, and something I did’t realize I’d wanted until I read it. Omaha Perez built a horror/sci-fi story that could rival many of those old stories, and I’d gladly pay him the penny-a-word rate that his forebears were getting, though it would probably be cheaper to just buy the book.
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, all who put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.
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