I often come across comics fans who believe that the only time a comic can be good is if it has the logo for Marvel, DC, or Image on the cover. If not, they simply won’t even consider it.
I’d like to present evidence that there are great comics out there that aren’t coming from the Big Three. This comes in the form of Salvagers: The Wreck Raiders, the second series in this franchise from Mr. Salley and company. It’s high-octane sci-fi complete with complex characters, art that sparkles and a story that keeps me on the edge of my seat.
Previously in SALVAGERS: THE WRECK RAIDERS: As the crew of the Harrier IV salvager makes it to the Va’Roovian fueling station deep in the outer rim, they look to unload a powerful battle tank to Jace Hexum, a well-known smuggler and close friend of Bill Roenick’s. In exchange for this military grade weapon, Brigby hopes to clear his debt with the Dorak crime organization. Meanwhile, the Klandarian pirates are closing in on the Salvager crew and intend to weaponize a battleship with the munitions from the Darzinean Warspray they believe are in Captain Roenick’s possession. Captain Shen Teemus and his band of Klandarian marauders will let nothing stand in the way of their mission. Not even their own kind.
BLUE COLLAR SCI-FI
So many times, sci-fi focuses on “The One” or the big names in whatever galaxy we’re exploring. We rarely see the little guy or gal, the ones cleaning up the messes left by the “name” characters.
That’s not the case in this comic. Instead, we see people who literally make the universe a cleaner, sometimes safer place. They salvage, in other words – take materials left over from battles or disasters, then sell them to the people who want them.
It’s not the most glorious function, but it needs to be hence. That’s why it’s called “blue collar sci-fi.”
This issue is in the second series of the comic. We’ve seen the first four-issue arc introduced us to the ship’s crew, and we followed them on a difficult mission.
This go-round, we discover there are others in the universe who would like to make their lives even more difficult than they already are, sadly for Captain Roenick and his crew.
I enjoy the characters on the ship, but the most popular is likely Brigby, the little green guy who gets in more than his share of trouble.
What makes this second series stand out is that new characters and situations are introduced, and if the creative team isn’t careful, they’ll have a second ongoing comic on their hands with the recently introduced folks as the stars.
My favorite among the Klandarian pirates is Shen Teemus, who doesn’t resemble the rest. His face is white with orange markings resembling tears. But he’s not someone given to crying – Oh, no, he’s all action, and he does what he has to do to get things done!
A new female has been introduced in this issue, and I understand her role in the series will become clearer in the months ahead. I already like what I see of her so far, though!
BLUE COLLAR ART
The first four issues of Salvagers was drawn by George Acevedo, who’s influence continues to be felt now that Chris Genevois has taken up the art duties. Honestly, I didn’t know there had been a change when I read the previous issue in this second series. I love George’s art, and Chris has taken up the baton and run with it so very well!
It’s always important to me that art accomplish two main things: display character expressions so we don’t need a lot of explanation, and make action pop off the page, propelling us through the issue strongly.
BOTTOM LINE: This Is What Sci-Fi Is All About!
It’s always enjoyable to see kings, queens and their courts doing things in science fiction. The higher up the food chain they are, I guess, the more tension you often feel as they struggle against nigh-impossible odds.
However, Salvagers shows there’s a place in sci-fi for the little guys and gals, the ones who might not be played by big-time actors or actresses, but should be… if they’re lucky!
To get your copies of Salvagers, you can go to Facebook at this link, Drive Thru Comics, or Dirty Planet. If you participated in the recent Kickstarter project for this issue, I’m sure you either have it already or it’s on the way to your mailbox!
Oh, and you might check out Mr. Salley’s other comics, such as the upcoming Shelter Division as well as Starlight Tavern. All great reads!