By Nathan Madison
October 24, 2008 - 18:53
, Spacedog Entertainment's latest foray into a regular comic book series (and published by Image Comics) is an interesting read, but not necessarily something that will keep you waiting in tense anticipation for the next installment. The story concerns one Atom Weaver, a NASA geologist who, upon discovering the fact that an asteroid is approaching Earth, is swept up in governmental proceedings and meetings, and is eventually chosen to join specially-selected exploration contingent whose main goal is to lay claim to the asteroid, and begin the process of mining its valuable natural resources for the United States government.
After several instances of turbulence along the way to the asteroid, including an attack by a rival country (whose government has their collective eye on mining the asteroid as well), the crew of the space shuttle Athena settle onto the asteroid, and commence the mining operations. Meanwhile, Atom leads several of the crewmembers into a recently-discovered cavern near their landing site, which, upon further inspection, houses the remnants of some long-dead alien life forms, as well as some not-so-dead (unfortunately for some members of the mission) xenomorphic creatures. Upon returning to their ship, Atom and his teammates learn that, due to an unknown saboteur stowed away on the mission who managed to disable a significant component of their flight systems, the Athena is stranded on Asteroid Z-1492, with whatever creatures they encountered earlier lurking about.
Zero-G is a good read. Zamm and Badower let the story unfold in an interesting way, with the narrative beginning in Atom's "present", and then switching back periodically to the plot’s back-story, such as how the asteroid was discovered, and the creation of the exploration and mining team. Badower's visual presentation of the story is very well done, and Kwok's coloring abilities only enhance the artwork. The problem with Zero-G however, is that a good majority of it has been seen before in other works, and has somewhat predictable outcomes and scenarios. The story is best described as a mix between the Michael Bay film Armageddon, any combination of the various "Alien" clones released over the past few decades, and the mid 1990's LucasArts graphic adventure game, The Dig. What makes this lack of original storytelling worse, however, is the fact that, at the beginning of the book, before the story even begins, the reader is given a page-long correspondence from the president of SpaceDog, Roger Mincheff, proclaiming the greatness of the story and artwork ahead. The artwork is very well done; there are no arguments to that effect. The story however, has been told in various bits and pieces, in many forms and media in the past, and Mincheff's praise of the work leaves something to be desired. Mincheff's opening letter sets up such an expectation on the reader’s part, that he or she can not help but nitpick and be disappointed when previously used (almost to the point of exhaustion) plot devices are utilized.
Rating: 5 /10