Review - Stain the Seas Scarlet #1 (@@ryanklindsay)

"We will stomp your face in until the noises are onomatopoeic of rainfall into a filth clogged gutter. You realise this, yes?"

History is rife with civilizations and societies who have been subverted by a more powerful and aggressive group of individuals. In some instances those oppressed simply roll over, but in some cases they actually fight back and make a stand. One such instance occurs in Stain the Seas Scarlet #1. The issue is written by Ryan K. Lindsay, illustrated by Alex Cormack and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

When Yelena's planet has just about been successfully driven beneath the bootheel of the scumbag robot terraforming army, she throws a Hail Mary play. She takes the fight to them, via her diplomatic sell out sister, and she fails. Or does she? What comes next is a wild ride of spacesuit noir that's my take on a 70s revenge flick with our wandering hero loose in space.

On the very first page of Lindsay's script the reader gets a sense of two things: tone and attitude. Lindsay infuses all the characters with an abundance of brashness that seems a little jarring at first, but after getting settled in the reader starts to appreciate the coarseness of the dialogue. The overarching plot isn't exactly new per se, but Lindsay puts his stamp on it through characters who hold nothing sacred. It's appreciated that Lindsay took the relatively boring, space domination theme and really made it his own with strong characters and a violent timeline. There's some back and forth jumps in time that allows Lindsay to let the reader know why things are the way they are in the present--the flashbacks are just as vitriolic as the present.

There's a ferocity to Cormack's illustrations in Stain the Seas Scarlet #1 that accurately reflects the fiery personalities of the all the characters involved. Cormack's style is very frenetic and his linework is equally as emotionally charged. There are numerous pages where Cormack bathes the artwork in debris; for instance, a page with the characters in a downpour covers the page in rain drops. That approach feels a little overwhelming at first, but Cormack doesn't let it take over the book's look and uses it to great effect. His colors are sharp throughout as well and tap into the same visceral approach that the linework takes.

Stain the Seas Scarlet #1 is one of those books that more or less lives up to its namesake. Yelena is clearly throwing caution to the wind in her newfound approach and it's that recklessness that makes the book work. Lindsay doesn't pull any punches in Stain the Seas Scarlet #1, throwing characters at the reader who are unapologetic about their decisions and actions. Cormack's artwork is the right kind of dangerous in its approach as it's the perfect representation of the script. Stain the Seas Scarlet #1 is a thoroughly enjoyable issue that refuses to play it safe.

Stain the Seas Scarlet #1 will be available soon.