High Stakes and No Oxygen – A Redshift #1 Review

Space. Most planets are barren and hopeless. No air, no vegetation, and yet humanity searches. In Redshift #1 we meet Hellener “Hellz” Drake; a young academy dropout. He lives in the shadow of his mother, an explorer. He became the staple holding his family together as his brothers, and to a degree, his father leans on him for support. Head down and mind focused, Hellz never thought he would be chosen to succeed his mother. Picked for a suicide mission to be shot into space, and find our next earth. Hellz is the next Voyager.

Redshift author H.S. Tak tells their story through the passionate dialog of their characters. Hellz is stern and determined, but his uncertainty ways heavy on him. Around him are living memories of his family in better times. We see people resigned to their life of toil and hardship. And we find a group of scared astronauts, unsure of the choices that brought them here.

The comic is broken into two primary pieces. First is the current day, where Hellz has his destiny chosen for him. The second is two years prior. Where we meet a Hellz worthy of this destiny. In the second half, we have a large action piece that keeps you quickly flipping pages. Your hoping Hellz pulls this off, forgetting you know the future. The pace changes rapidly from a moment of rest and contemplation to frantic survival at every turn.

The red and brown dust of Mars and the twinkle of space fill beautifully drawn panels. The white and grey suits of our heroes demand your attention. Artist, Brent Mckee, gives every face the depth to express the multiple emotions so desperately needed. Colorist Sebastian Cheng and Letterer Joel Rodriguez took these exquisite outlines and gave them life.

Redshift is an example of comic books becoming an elevated medium. What Alan Moore started with Watchmen, Tak seeks to continue. This story is not for the faint of heart or casual comic fan. Redshift is a tale of hardship and triumph. Readers will not be disappointed.

Frank’s Score: A-

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