This week Wampaslayer takes on issue 1 of a new series by Brian E. Lau: Staunch Ambition. This book covers a sort of post-apocalyptic future where a major flare from the sun demolished Earth’s society and resulted in a period of catastrophic war on the planet. After much devastation, several nations banded together to use technology to not only rebuild society, but to defend civilization against a future cosmic event. The book takes on the problems inherent with a society propped up entirely by future technologies and the side effects of a new technology that allows users to explore imagination itself.
As the title suggests, the themes in this book are extremely ambitions and, at some points, very complicated. Brian has erected a very complex society that is very different from our current perceptions of science fiction. I have to admit, I found it difficult to follow at first until I understood that the book talks to the reader as if they are already a part of this future society. I am actually a huge fan of this method, where instead of explaining everything about the world up front, you are presented with a snapshot of the world as if you were a member of it and given hints of the past or of the overall construct throughout the story. While it may confuse you at first, when the action picks up in this issue, it is presented perfectly as if you were just another soldier on board the station suddenly thrust into a difficult situation.
Tyler Thull handles the majority of the art in this book and brings his realistic approach to science fiction in a wonderful way. All of his colors from the blue displays on the monitors to the stark difference between the sun and the Earth or the station are done calmly instead of the bright distracting colors of most sci-fi books. This makes the character of Azarus, who is made of deep red and greens, stand out as unique among a futuristic background. He also does an incredible thing with details where the suits and tech were low detail but the eyes were fully realized and clear for every character. It was paired well with the flow of the story as the writing became more detailed at the same time as the art.
Overall I loved the book and can’t wait to see more of the story. This series needs to be looked at more as a graphic novel rather than a comic book as there are no clear “heroes” to follow right away, but there is a complex story and characters that I can’t wait to learn more about. If you have the chance, check out the intro on the website for a good breakdown of the history and characters of this world. Also stop by Tyler Thull’s page for some really awesome science fiction and fantasy art.