If like me, you missed the first five issues of this stellar series, I would highly recommend you put down whatever you’ve been reading and pick this up. I’m a bit of a sucker for detective stories, and once you throw in a Sci-Fi setting I figured I would enjoy reading this. I started flicking through the first few issues, assuming I could pick up enough to understand the back story, then jump into issue 6. That is not how it ended up happening. I read all six issues in two days (and yes I know it’s a comic, not war and peace, but when you have four kids and a job, that is a feat worth mentioning). This series is perhaps one of the best Science fiction stories I’ve read.
The artwork from Rob Reis is top notch and helped drag me into the story right away. The tech is still clunky and human, the setting not so advanced that it becomes unbelievable. The people have a genuine “real” person look and style to them that give personality and depth before you even get into the story.
The characters are far deeper than what you might expect from most comic books. Although the story is a murder mystery wrapped up in political/societal conflict, Simon, the protagonist, is struggling with the deeper issues of heartbreak, guilt and betrayal. His wife left him for his friend and boss, and the situation only gets worse. The liberal use of flashbacks and the often seamless transition between them really draws you in right from the first few issues. By the time we hit the sixth issue you really feel for the crap he has been through, but also recognize his role in the break up. Simon really is his own worst enemy, but like a bull, he plows along to uncover the truth, even when everyone else involved seems to want it left alone. There is enough character development beyond Simon to really give you reason to hate, distrust and yet still empathize with many of the other crew on board the Hadrian’s Wall spaceship.
The plot is what tipped it over the edge for me. This is humans only, and packed with enough political/social intrigue and unrest that you never have time to miss aliens, or anything else for that matter. By the end of the sixth issue you will be having withdrawls until the climax of the series. This story is what great Science Fiction should be – real people, dealing with real human problems, within the context of a rich futuristic backdrop.
If you like detective stories, science fiction, mystery and intrigue, good illustrations, or just enjoy reading words on a piece of paper with pretty pictures on it, you will love this series from Image.
Written by Alec Siegel and Kyle Higgins (Both previously involved in writing for Marvel and D.C. before coming to Image to write C.O.W.L and now Hadrian’s Wall).
For me the only con to this series is the language. I know most folks don’t bat an eyelid these days at the liberal use of the F-bomb, but for me, i still find it unnecessary in most cases. This is definitely not a comic I would show my kids, but aside from that, this is a must read.