Editor’s Note: I was provided a PDF review copy of Eden by the publisher.
Eden is another great release brought to you by Alterna Comics with Eric Henson filling the role of artist and writer on the project. The story of Eden is set in 2714 and Earth is under the rule of a tyrannical alien race. Brigadier General Neriah Willis leads a band of heroes to try and free humanity. They uncover a mystery they didn’t bargain for as they descend beneath Eden’s utopian surface.
The book is a good read, combining action and mystery on a strange world. This first issue drops us right into the middle of Neriah’s search for her child. It feels like we’re starting the story somewhere in the middle, which is a good and a bad thing. There’s a bit of scene-setting, but not much. We sort of know what has happened regarding Earth and why our heroes are on Eden. For readers who like to get right into the action it’s great. It does raise a lot of questions and may leave some readers wanting to know more about this universe and how it came to be this way. With it being a four-issue series I doubt we’ll get much more than the handful of backstory panels. This will leave readers wanting more I think. I know I want to know how things got the way they are.
The writing itself is great. Henson is building a good mystery with characters that are developed well. Conversation comes off natural and the text bubbles aren’t too long. I’m already intrigued by several plot points like where is the general’s kid, something sinister following our heroes, and what’s the secret of this planet? My only real hangup was with the character Christian. This is a group of heroes out to save the world and he comes off as relatively useless until the end. In fact, he’s treated like that throughout the first issue. Even when he does do something, it’s completely by accident. If his ineptness, complaining, and tag along type character is his purpose then he needs some reason to be there. That may be revealed later in the series but for now he comes off as the troublesome friend, or little brother, that is going along on the adventure just because. Hopefully his role will flesh out in later issues. Both Kla’tuu and Neriah are good characters with what seems to be an established camaraderie. It’s as if they have been serving, or traveling together for years before this story.
Henson’s art is good too, and accented beautifully by Michael Babinski’s colors. There’s a lot of detail in each panel without looking cluttered. The character design is fantastic. Christian and Neriah’s gear was practical without being boring. Kla’tuu on the other hand seems to keep all his gear in his head, and by all appearances runs around in the buff. Throughout the book the panels blended well and conveyed action and movement easily. I wasn’t thrown by too much “look this is really in the future” that some sci-fi books will try to work in. The landscapes, and of course the aliens, gave the book a futuristic and natural look. The world felt lived-in rather than sterile which has thrown me off of indie science fiction in the past. Henson and team have put together a book that is good looking, as well as a good read.
Eden hits your local comic shop tomorrow with a $1.50 cover price! Alterna’s newsprint editions have made it easy to jump into new comics again, and they are heavy on the nostalgia with that look, smell, and feel we all remember from our younger days collecting. Give this book a shot if you want to add some fun and interesting sci-fi to your pull list.