I am an avid comics reader, have been, since childhood. I started with Spiderman when I was very young courtesy of watching Sam Raimi’s Spiderman 2 more a dozen times. I quickly shifted to X-Men mainly because of the 90s animated series which is still my all-time favorite American comics adaptation into cartoon form.

But no matter how many adaptations I have watched or even comic-based prose novels that I have read, nothing can beat the source material. It is said that sales of comics are declining nowadays with prose novels leading in popularity. This might be true because: 1. It is a niche genre. 2. People, especially youngsters, might prefer to watch the adaptations rather than read the original works.

Yet comics are super fun to read. In my opinion, they have a much smoother flow than novels. I am not comparing any medium with another, but rather, stating my perspective of what it is to read a comic. It takes an average of 20 to 30 minutes for me to finish a standard issue of a comic-book series, so I have always seen comic books as a fast-paced medium. Granted, there are many novels out there with such pacing you could finish 100 pages in an hour (my average is 70 pages an hour) but comics are another experience entirely.

My favorite comics of all time are owned by DC Comics as Superman is my favorite superhero, so I was more than excited when I realized Red Shift is set in space much like many of the modern Superman titles – he is an alien after all.

Red Shift #1, and I am assuming the entire series, is written by H.S. Tak and drawn by Brent McKee. The colorist for the first issue is Sebastian Cheng, and the letterer is Joel Rodriguez. They all do a fantastic job! This is my first time reading a comic from Scout Comics, as well as reading any work by this creative team, but I am beyond impressed. The next issue is available in August, but boy! I wanted to read it right after completing this issue.

It follows a group of Mars dwelling humans, mainly miners, with the protagonist being a young man by the name of Hellener Drake. This brings a young adult element to the comic early on, but I am sure it becomes more adult-oriented later on, so you can say it carries the best of both worlds and will satisfy a wide range of age groups.

Hellener Drake is chosen to be a volunteer, and it is also found out that years ago his mother was chosen to be the same, but has not returned back. Hellener isn’t fully ready yet to take the mantel as his father intervenes, so the higher-ups promise to just show him what is in store for him, and he can make his own decision in the end.

Then we cut to a flashback of what happened two years ago which led to Hellener’s current doubt as being the right selection for a volunteer. I won’t go into details for this as it is quite mysterious and action-packed.

The art work is beautiful. Brent McKee’s work reminded of Jim Lee’s art style. The writing by H.S. Tak is also good especially the character development which is complemented by McKee’s brilliant designs.

You also get that feeling of “we are not alone here” throughout the 30-plus pages. I liked how the story did not start with needless exposition, and allowed events to dictate the narrative, rather than making it sentimental.

To end with, no matter which genre of comics you prefer, Red Shift #1 is a must-read through and through. With what I have seen in only one issue, I am pretty sure that its subsequent parts will be equally entertaining.

Nisar Sufi

Nisar Sufi

Author

Nisar Sufi started penning poetry when he was 9 years old, but found his true love in the horror genre after reading R.L. Stine's College Summer, when he was 14. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching the latest comic-book movie adaptations. He is also the co-founder of Literary Retreat - a website that publishes articles on all types of literature.

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