Agent 47 - Birth of the Hitman #1

The Last Arrival #1

I was asked to review the first issue of upcoming indy comic The Last Arrival. This is a fun sci-fi effort from UK-based writer Daniel A Prim, and artwork is supplied by Gergely J Szabรณ's pencils and pens with colour from Szabrina Maharita. The Kickstarter for this book opens on 21st August and you can find details of the project here.

The first thing that struck me with this comic, and it's one of the main reasons I urge readers to pick up an independent comic now and again to compliment their Marvel/DC pulls, is that you can immediately tell that a lot of love has gone into it. This is very much to the reader's benefit, as this time has been spent on making the book readable, accessible and interesting rather than becoming self-indulgent as some heavily-worked writings can become. The second thing that stands out is the colouring; Maharita really elevates the pages with a vibrant and eye-catching pallette that is bright but avoids being cartoony. 
Asshole bosses - a constant across space, apparently
The story follows 5 aliens, U'on, Acrok, Rirke, Aome and Olak, leaving their dying planet in search of a new home. The 5 characters are each an unusual choice for such a mission, and each has a part to play in finding a new world for their people. There are plenty of suggestions that more lurks beneath the surface of this mission, and hints are scattered throughout the book to make you wonder who can really be trusted.

We often forget how much harder an independent comic has to work to draw us into the world it is creating - the big publishers have had their universes set up for decades, and can rely on their permeation into pop culture to save them some storytelling time. It's this that really tests an indy comic writer, and Prim orchestrates his world-building brilliantly, giving enough detail for the reader to follow but respecting their intelligence enough not to lead them by the nose. 
I heard you, five more minutes!
I really enjoyed the interaction between the characters as well. As I say their backgrounds are more unusual than those you would normally expect in such a story, the basic premise of which is fairly well-trodden. The conflicts feel like they make sense rather than forced to make the story interesting, and there is even opportunity to develop their characters a little in this first issue, which again points to how easily the world is set up in the reader's mind.

I found this to be a fun read, it had an air of young adult fiction about it, which may or may not be intentional but makes it a good choice for kids who may be just getting into comics. It has a nice mix of dialogue and artwork that keeps the story flowing and makes you pick up details of the world without realising, so it's light work to immerse yourself enough to enjoy another few issues.

4 / 5