Review - Sage Escape: Equinox #1

"A final conflict plays out in a war between the Salesman Assassin Empire and the Human Resistance."

Will humanity be able to fend off a galactic incursion by another race? Or will it simply falter in the face of such opposition? Primal Archetype thinks it has the answers in Sage Escape: Equinox #1. The issue is written by Damian S. Simankowicz and lettered by Primal Archetype.

It's 3042 AD and the human race on the verge of annihilation, General Troy takes desperate measures to protect President Bell. Meanwhile, Imogen closes in with her forces for the death strike. Sage, defenseless without her warriors skills loaded, learns a startling connection between Imogen and the destruction of her home village, Natura. The human/Salesman Assassin war rages on.

Much of Sage Escape: Equinox #1 revolves around the re-emergence of Sage, the title character. Simankowicz presents her as an asset for the Salesman Assassin side of the conflict, but doesn't delve too deeply into her origins prior to that (those are largely tackled in the series before this). There's also not a lot of context for the reasons behind the war; the Salesman side wants to wipe out humanity, but it's not really clear why. Simankowicz's dialogue is clear enough that it effectively conveys the story, even if that story is a little bland at times. There does seem to be a wide variety of characters throughout the issue and hopefully future issues will give them enough time to interact with one another.

Simankowicz also handles the illustrations in Sage Escape: Equinox #1, offering a look that's dripping in sheen and shine. Facial expressions lack enough detail to truly showcase the emotion behind them, while character anatomy looks a little unnatural at some points. Many of Simankowicz'z depictions of female characters border on over-sexualizing them, while male characters sport typically masculine, muscular bodies. Simankowicz filled the gutters with black, which provide borders to the panels and add to the general sense of being in space alongside the combatants.

Sage Escape: Equinox #1 is a first issue that seems to be rooted in lore, most of which is lost on the reader if they haven't read other books in the series. That's not to say that Sage Escape: Equinox #1 is completely inaccessible, as there are easily recognizable plot elements that give the reader something to grab onto. Simankowicz's plot development follows a path that indicates he clearly has a grander story in mind, while his illustrations are effective at depicting a warzone in space with multiple combatants. Sage Escape: Equinox #1 offers the start of a space saga that's full of characters all competing with one another to achieve their own end goals.

Sage Escape: Equinox #1 hits Comixology on April 15.