By Andy Frisk
August 15, 2010 - 20:42
When the alien Draconians arrived and ended the conflict, impending economic collapse, and very near destruction of the planet Earth, a new day dawned for all of mankind. Not only did the Dracs bring freedom and unity to Earth, they also brought the cure to the virus that has been plaguing man with them. Why then would Captain Jakes attempt a revolt against the new peaceful age that has been ushered in? Simple, all tyrants tout ideals like freedom and unity, but rarely are they their goal. When Jakes’ crew is obliterated by the Dracs though, he ends up going native and finding some modicum of peace. His moment of peace ends when the Dracs slaughter his adoptive village and take him prisoner. It seems Jakes’ brother is someone of some importance in the new order…
The Rising starts out like most alien invasion/domination sci-fi stories do. Stories such as V obviously spring to mind in comparison. Quickly though, like most books from Radical Publishing, The Rising veers off into unique territory and dialogue. After Jakes is captured, he’s placed in FEMA Camp 210-35, which is for all intent and purposes a labor camp. While there, the laborers get a visit from Reverend Krebs. One might think that this man of the cloth might be arriving on the scene in order to save some souls. Instead, like Hazel Motes in Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood, Krebs is there to preach that there is no God and that “Charles Darwin was right.” He challenges anyone in the camp to dispute this truth. When one member steps forward as a believer, Krebs’s gives him the opportunity to leave the camp as a free man. All he must do is defeat Krebs’s Darwin…a hulking gladiator of a man…It seems Krebs is in the gladiator recruitment business…
The long diatribe on Creationism vs. Darwinism near the end of The Rising, which Krebs uses to introduce and lay out a prospective escape from the toils of the FEMA camp, is a unique philosophical interlude that with its wordiness balances out the silent episode where Jakes goes native. Survival of the fittest, in Jakes’ jungle and Krebs’ arena, juxtaposed against the domination of the genetically and technologically superior Dracs, looks to be the theme of The Rising. Future issues should chronicle this rising up of Jakes and humanity against the Dracs (and the worst in their own natures) in opposition to the law of survival of the fittest. All in all, it’s a pretty interesting and intelligent theme for a sci-fi saga.
JP Targete’s art helps The Rising keep pace with its own unique thematic elements as well as with Radical Publishing’s overall unique looking books. Targete’s work carries the same painted and organic look Stjepan Sejic’s Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost (also from Radical Publishing) does. Both Sejic and Targete’s greatest strengths are their coloring abilities which really bring their books to life.
Overall, The Rising does what many of Radical Publishing’s books do: it takes an old concept and injects new thematic and artistic life into it making it fresh and interesting again. The Rising looks to be yet another book worth devouring from Radical.
Rating: 9 /10