Monday, May 21, 2018

Review - Proxima Centauri #1 (@ImageComics)


"What am I supposed to do?"

Space is the final frontier, but there's a lot to explore there. In Proxima Centauri #1 from Image Comics, Sherwood Breadcoat is doing plenty of exploring. The issue is written and illustrated by Farel Dalrymple.

4.243 light-years from Earth, the teenage wizard adventurer Sherwood Breadcoat is stuck in the confounding spectral zone on the manufactured dimensional sphere, Proxima Centauri, looking for escape and a way back to his brother while dealing with his confusing emotions, alien creatures, and all sorts of unknown, fantastic dangers. In this issue The Scientist H. Duke sends Sherwood on a salvage mission and gives counsel to the troubled boy in his charge.

It's not an understatement to say that Dalrymple's script is incredibly heady. The narrative is funneled through Sherwood Breadcoat and his experiences, all of which offers a slightly unconventional twist on things because his emotions dictate the story. There's also a lot of deeper, philosophical notions at play in the issue that lend themselves well to the type of story Sherwood has crafted. Dalrymple manages to corral the weirdness very well though, effectively providing the other characters as reflections of various states of Sherwood's personality. And all of the characters are pretty solid despite their apparent simplicity.

Dalrymple's art style is very eccentric. It's a style that's reminiscent of Shaky Kane in that it's very loose and free-flowing, effectively matching the somewhat stream of consciousness script. Dalrymple illustrates the characters with enough definition that the reader can tell what's going on and tell them apart without sacrificing any of the relaxed approach. The artwork is equal parts sketches and full-renderings, all of which come together surprisingly well and offer a cohesive look at things. The color palette is just as simplistic as well, as Dalrymple relies on simple, muted colors throughout.

Proxima Centauri #1 is relatively straightforward in its approach and presentation, but that belies the deeper aspects of it. Sherwood Breadcoat is on a mission he's determined to see through--regardless of both internal and external pressures he's forced to contend with. Dalrymple's script is pretty solid in its presentation. The artwork is a great fit for the creative approach taken by the script. Proxima Centauri #1 is definitely a unique book that isn't really like anything else out there.

Proxima Centauri #1 is available June 13.

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