A group of science explorers have received a distress signal and four brave souls must travel through alien gateways to answer the call! Find out where these gates lead in 40 Seconds #1 by comiXology Originals!


Writer: Jeremy Haun
Artist: Christopher Mitten
Colorist: Brett Weldele
Letterer: Thomas Mauer
Publisher: comiXology
Release Date: $2.99, free with comiXology Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited, or Amazon Prime
Release Date: August 25th, 2020

Previously in 40 seconds: Jeremy Haun (Batwomen and Constantine) and Christopher Mitten (Hellboy) come together to create a new miniseries with comiXology! Come check out this original science fiction story featuring a group of explorers checking out the unknown!


The issue starts off with four astronauts preparing for a dangerous mission. A mission they have been training for a year for! They must travel through an alien gate, gather data, and then head to the next alien gate to eventually reach the Terminus. With a secondary objective to find the previous team they have sent through the gate. The first location they arrive in is a vast biome filled with alien plants and foliage and they begin to gather data and travel to the next gate. As they activate the next gate, they are suddenly ambushed by an alien horde but they are able to move through the next gate and it closes before any of them follow. However, one of their members has taken an arrow that has pierced his astronaut suit. 


I’m interested in the approach that none of these characters are specifically named. There are some names within the dialogue but it is never clear who those names are referencing. In fact, it seems that they are labeled as numbers. I think this led to a lack of attachment to the characters and a singular focus on the actual setting, which we also don’t get a lot of. The interest here is the mystery. Every time they open a gate and once in a dream, a text box with “40 seconds” appears on the page. I assume that the point is that the gate is only open for 40 seconds but there was a sense of ambiguity that could have a deeper meaning. What is going on?

I think my difficulty had to do with not knowing what to focus on. It is like scratching the surface of a rich and interesting world. The art is beautiful and I love seeing artist interpretations of alien planets and species but everything feels so ambiguous. And I think that is the point, I am unable to figure out what I am supposed to grasp at.


I did not enjoy this issue but that doesn’t mean that the issue is bad. There are a lot of good things here but I want a little more connection to the characters in my comic books. If you are looking for a new science-fiction book to start this isn’t a bad choice but it isn’t a story that follows a conventional narrative arc. 3 out of 5 stars for 40 seconds #1. 

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40 Seconds #1


A distress call comes from a far away and a group of brave space explorers have to travel through alien gates to find out what is going on!

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About Author

Christopher Rondeau is a storyteller based in Pittsburgh. Finding himself with little work, he ended up creating a job as a Game Master full time on the internet. Chris spends most of his days reading everything he can, writing bad fiction, and watching old Digimon cartoons with his daughter. Sometimes you can find him Dungeon Mastering a podcast or streaming on twitch. Recently, he has completed his Master's degree with a focus on collaborative storytelling. Find out more at https://rondeaucreator.com

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