Light-years from Earth, trapped in cages with creatures you’ve never imagined. This is Sherwood Presley Breadcoat’s life. Your Major Spoilers review of Proxima Centauri #5 awaits!
Writer: Farel Dalrymple
Artist: Farel Dalrymple
Letterer: Farel Dalrymple
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 17, 2018
Previously in Proxima Centauri: Conditions in the spectral zone are getting unbearable. Shakey, Parasol, Almendra, Gris Gato, and the Proxinauts join forces with many others to fight some malignant deities.
MYSTERIES IN SPACE
This issue opens with Sherwood awakening from a dream, one that he can’t remember, but one that he knows is terrible and has him repeatedly waking up crying. As he rises to go about his life on Proxima Centauri, a distant space station, he finds that his friends and compatriots are already up and about. That’s kind of where my comprehension of the issue ends, folks, but the show must, as always, go on. We see his friend (including aliens, cyborgs, animals and someone who may be all of the above) trying to understand an increase in the activity of terrible creatures from Nightmare World. A desperate message is sent to the Proxinauts, which leads to the story switching over to follow them. The Proxinauts are a group of young astronauts, one of whom is a duck with teeth. They quickly engage the Nightmare creatures in battle, but their best efforts only delay the inevitable. Switching back to the crew on Proxima Centauri, we find that the creatures are eating away at the ship and that they’re somehow powered by Sherwood’s emotion? Oh, and he wrote a poem…
WILD ART, EXUBERANT COLORS
This issue is one of those throwback experiences for me, reminding me of the comics of the 1980s independent boom, full of excitement and imagery that feel very personal and very poetic, but also not exactly clear in intentions. Dalrymple’s script seems to be pulling various threads together from previous books and series to create a dreamlike shared universe, but the sheer number of characters and places in this issue are a little overwhelming to me, a first time reader. Thankfully, though ,the art makes it all better, with each panel full of detail and color. One of the Proxinauts, a boy named Hollis, finds what seems to be a superhero mask that he mentions is from his old costume, and puts it on while flying, making for a cute, memorable but completely inexplicable sequence that nonetheless put a smile on my face. The coloring is even more over-the-top and wonderful than the art, with each page showing off a much larger palette than any comic I’ve read recently, with earth-tones and bright primaries and wild pastels all sharing space on the page.
BOTTOM LINE: NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON, BUT I ENJOYED THE READ
Proxima Centauri #5 is clearly a book that lends itself to multiple readings, and will probably be more coherent as a story to those who have been following Dalrymple’s other entries in this universe, but is a lovely artistic statement with killer colors even if you have trouble following it. I want more of this art and these characters.
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This is beautiful stream-of-consciousness science fiction narrative, and while I didn't really understand it all, I love looking at it, page after page.