Come check out the new series from Image Comics that mixes mythology and science fiction in one big glorious amalgam. Tartarus #1 is action packed and full of secrets and surprises that will entertain all readers!


Writer: Johnnie Christmas
Artist: Jack T. Cole
: Jim Campbell
Editor: Stephanie Cooke
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: February 12th, 2020

Previously in Tartarus: This huge 44 page story brings us the drama of Breaking Bad but set in a Star War-esque world. The city of Tartarus which has been under constant attack by warlords and the Galactic Empire. Join Writer Johnnie Christmas (Alien 3) and Artist Jack T. Cole (The Unsound) as they introduce the major players in what will become a story about family, heritage, and battle!


This book is split into two parts. Part 1 acts as a prologue and Part 2 sets up the conflict and introduces the protagonist. In Part 1, we are introduced to Warlord Surka who is currently in prison. Throughout the action packed opening, Surka begins a prison break and escapes with a small army of prisoners behind her. She reunites with her baby and prepares for a final confrontation with the Galactic Empire to ensure her escape. However, a Djinni gifts a soldier with a weapon that can actually kill Surka and but when he fires the weapon it causes a huge explosion with a lot of collateral damage.

Part 2 time skips 17 years later and follows Tilde who is part of the Galactic Empire military. After trying to clone new lungs for her grandma, she realizes that her documents have been falsified. Upon learning this, she is immediately deemed a security threat and she is sent to talk to General Kabe. Tilde’s heritage is revealed and learns that her mother was in fact that Warlord Surka and that to make sure she is not a threat, she must kill herself. When Tilde resolves to defend herself, a bomb goes off on the ship and leaves the entirety of the military base in chaos. 


This story begins to ask the question if children are responsible for the sins of their parents. It is a tough topic to begin to discuss and this book tackles this question with expertise. Different cultures answer this question differently. In many eastern philosophies, the children are in charge of repaying the debt of their family while western culture has an emphasis on the individual. It interest me that when General Kabe reveals Tilde’s heritage he asks her to commit seppuku, a Japanese form of ritual suicide. It was a nice touch to actual history and the creative team understands how different people approach this topic. I look forward to exploring the theme a bit more through the creative teams interpretation.

I had a little bit of trouble with the art. The artist drew brilliantly but sometimes there are a lot of things on the page to take in. I see a blend of foreground and background and I couldn’t tell what was supposed to grab my attention. It forced my brain to work a little harder than it needed too on the image and thus working less on the storytelling.

Lastly, I wanted to see more information on the science system that they have incorporated. Tartarus introduces Djinni as these people who can shape liquid and I couldn’t quite tell the significance nor was I given enough information to be excited about the idea. Djinni are great technicians and smugglers of powerful weapons but I wasn’t invested in the idea. I got enough to get a taste and hopefully will see this elaborated in the future.


I think this was a solid first issue and it approaches a difficult topic. As a writer, I’ve tried to tackle this theme and you need to have a good understanding of both human nature and societal tendencies. The beginning of the book approached this well and if they can continue discussing these ideas, I’ll be interested in the long hall. For now, I’m willing to commit to issue 2. 3.5 out of 5 stars for Tartarus #1 by Image Comics!

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Tartarus #1


It was a nice touch to actual history and the creative team understands how different people approach this topic. I look forward to exploring the theme a bit more through the creative teams interpretation.

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About Author

Christopher Rondeau is a storyteller based in Tulsa, OK. 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

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