Reasonably Priced Comics returns August 31st with another anthology series… This time, we get 40 big pages of Science Fiction goodness in the form of SCIENCE! #1. Let’s take a sneak peek, shall we?
From the same people who publish the very entertaining Reasonably Priced Comics anthology series comes SCIENCE! (you HAVE to say this in a 1950s style filmstrip narrator voice… SCIENCE!), a new anthology that focuses specifically on sci-fi stories. Usually I will break down the stories in RPC, but this book, being far more Twilight Zone in nature, prevents me from doing so. So, instead, I’ll give an overview of the book’s stories.
SCIENCE! contains five stories. Each one slightly different than the one before it, but each one has the same tone of bleakness. The book isn’t making a comment on how bleak the world today technically is, but in a true, classic sci-fi form, it shows that just because we can build technology and move forward as a society doesn’t mean the world we build from that is right for all of us. There are specific stories in this anthology that exactly with that idea. Just because we can create a pill to take everyday for most of our lives to control any urges to do wrong, doesn’t mean we should. Just because technology can help us progress standards that heightens logic and suppresses will doesn’t mean that’s what everyone will want. Yeah, crime and war isn’t a problem anymore, great… But are we willing to sacrifice individuality for less war and fewer robbed banks?
The other stories in this book deal specifically with base human ego and emotion. Set in vastly different settings, these stories deal directly with death and our own pride. From a survivor of a ship that crashed some three decades earlier searching for escape to a married couple cursed to spend lonely years on Titan mapping it for future landings only to drive each other insane to an archeologist looking to make a name for himself regardless of who, or what, he tramples over. While still just as bleak as the stories about technology running society are, these more human stories definitely have a deep Rod Serling feel to them. Irony and surprises await the reader in each of these stories.
Ultimately, these are really good and interesting stories. They are short and to the point, but still manage to entertain. Writers Brandon Barrows, Ted Woods, Jay Townsend (Woods and Townsend also draw their stories), and Martin Brandt II skillfully tell their stories with just the right amount of story and dialog. We’re not leaving needing more from them and we’re not flipping ahead wondering how much longer that particular story was going to take. Barrows’ “Surefire Means” has a particularly shocking ending that, as I read it, made me realize that I was going to be in for a treat with the rest of the comic, and Joel Cotejar’s art was gorgeous and fitting for the story. Woods’ “Yours, Mine, and Ours” was funny even though we were watching a relationship crashing and burning before our eyes. “A Place in History” was about as classic Twilight Zone as you can get. Townsend’s “R-Net” was surprisingly touching and had a nice ending that, while unexpected, was clever. Brandt’s “Lateral Murder” instantly conjured up thoughts of Blade Runner. Cristian Navarro’s art in that shifted from texture to texture and made me feel like I was tuning the story into an old TV set or that my brain was fading in and out of consciousness.
In all, SCIENCE! should entertain fans of series like Night Gallery, or Alfred Hitchcock Presents, or the aforementioned Twilight Zone. I think fans of sci-fi will appreciate the classically styled stories spiked with present day punch.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|More than simply decent stories with nice art. Great mix of different styles. Even if the stories are classic archetypical sci-fi fare, the stories are fresh and I honestly didn’t see most of the ends coming, or at the very least expected the payoff to be exactly what I got. So it definitely kept things interesting.||I really only have a minor bone to pick when getting down to Brandt’s story at the end. There were some proofreading issues and misspellings, but ultimately, it didn’t hurt the story too much.|