Originally posted on Irish Comic News (22/Aug/2017)
As some of you have figured out from the cover, this is a comic based on the 1980s Atari game. I’d played the game a bit as a kid so was familiar with the games itself. As a result, I was curious to see how this comic would entertain the reader.
The first issue introduces the reader to Dale Trell, the lone survivor on the planet Sty-rek. Bemis gives Trell an imaginary friend to allow for plenty of exposition on how Trell ended up as the last man on Sty-rek. What I really liked about the use of the imaginary friend was putting the reader in the shoes of the imaginary friend so that Trell is talking directly to the reader as a result. It’s an engaging trick that really drew me in as read more of the comic. The combination of the imaginary friend and the backstory is a good opener for what looks to be an interesting twist on the Centipede game.
Marron does a great job with the artwork paricularly as quite of the comic is Trell talking to the reader. There’s some good panel selections that make it unambigious that Trell is talking to us the readers. There’s a great two page spread at the start of the comic with a detail in the nearby city I really liked. The art really gets across that Trell isn’t an action hero. At times it seems like it’s just good luck that he’s surviving. There’s a good sense of place in the art as well. And the last page is a great cliff-hanger.
The colour helps inform the reader of the scale of the infestation by the aliens that killed everyone but Trell. Lots of brightly coloured mushrooms appear on the landscape, in both the countryside and the city. Some of the creatures also look like they’ve been infected by the mushrooms. O’Halloran makes the colours less vibrant for the flashback scene which is a simple and effective cue for the reader to know when they’ve left the flashback sequence.
The lettering by Esposito is well done. There’s plenty of dialogue as well as some sound effects. I did like how the screaming in terror Trell does at the start of the comic was done. The text runs outside of the speech balloon. It made it look as if Trell was screaming until he was out of breath. The lettering also conveyed Trell getting sick (a bit too) well.
I didn’t really know what to expect with this comic but it was a lot more entertaining that I had expected. With the cliff-hanger of issue one, it’ll be interesting to see how Trell manages to survive issue two.