I like David Hine as a writer, but this series takes a bunch of cool ideas and forces them upon a story. It’s like the Wild, Wild West meets Avatar and no one in their right mind thinks that’s cool or even a remotely good idea. There is very little explanation about the world that this story is set in, just a bunch of rules and vague mentions of events and technology.
It opens with some dudes riding green horses that have rhino hide; they do absolutely nothing for the plot other than put themselves in peril. A storm rolls in and they jump into their one vehicle which I guess couldn’t fit them all normally which is why they needed the horse creatures. In the city of Grievance a ship representing the union lands. The commander sets the stage for us as far as how developed the planet is and they’re only allowed to use level four tech and cannot connect to the Weave while on the planet’s surface. The Weave seems to be the internet that everyone is connected to at all times, but it’s never explained or anything. Everyone says goodbye to their families in case they die on the mission and they’re loved ones can’t watch it live on the Weave. This scene is primarily used to establish their different personality types and it does a poor job of it.
Planet side, the group meets with the local law enforcement and the usual jurisdiction bullshit pissing contest plays out. Afterwards the storm hits and everyone is forced inside. The storms are apparently nuck and futs. The commander/leader of the Union group asks about the animals and they’re informed that the weather doesn’t bother them and if it did it would be a miserable existence. Low and behold our dudes from before get attacked during the storm and the team volunteers to go out. They then hear the two second story of where the term “Storm Dogs” comes from and I will not ruin that awesome experience for you… it’s not awesome by the way, it’s pretty dumb.
I don’t really understand why this issue is as bad as it is. The pacing is choppy if there really is an intentional pacing to the story to begin with. The entire opening was beyond dull and served one purpose: put “Red Shirts” in danger. There are interesting aspects of the story, but there is little to no explanation offered about the world. I’m not against not explaining every little detail in the first issue, but we’re introduced to The Union who may or may not represent the galaxy’s law enforcement or they could just be what the police unit is called. We’re introduced to the settlers of the planet and basically told that they’re not very advanced and yet never given the history of how they got there and why they’re advancement stopped. Lastly, we’re introduced to the natives who look like every other animal on the planet with the exception of walking on their hind feet.
Something needed to be explained. Instead we’re left with a group of characters we know nothing about and care even less about. A planet that’s only purpose is to contain the plot and speaking of the plot… it’s barely that. Hine is an experienced and talent writer so I’m not really sure why this story is so bad and all these characters are walking around talking like total assholes. There is literally not one character that I wouldn’t be happy if they died in the next issue. The entire planet could just blow up and that would probably be a better story.
The art is average. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s just there. It does nothing to better the story and looks as if it followed the script to the “T”. None of the character designs were interesting and I had to really study the Union group to figure out who was who. Two of the characters have Mohawks of sorts, but different genders… that took me a while to realize as I thought it was the same character for a few pages. It’s not bad, but it’s not great or an issue saver.
You know what the worst part of all this is? I don’t even know the character’s names. I think a few of them were said during the really terrible goodbye scene, but I couldn’t care less to remember them. I’m not really sure what the intention of this series is, but it comes across as a random collection of thoughts in a below average Sci-Fi story.
Writer: David Hine
Artist: Doug Braitwaite
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 11/7/12