Written by Garth Ennis
Art by Facundo Percio
Published by Avatar Press
I’ve been really digging on this comic the past few months, so I’ll be running through the first four issues to get readers all caught up with it. Caliban is written by Garth Ennis and is a horror story set in space. The series owes a great deal of inspiration to Alien in its depiction of human beings entering the universe and finding out that it’s a much more disturbing, chaotic, and dangerous place than they had expected. In the future, humanity has mastered interstellar travel and is exploiting the cosmos for natural resources. Unfortunately for all of the starry-eyed dreams out there, space is much more boring than people had ever been led to believe, and humanity has yet to encounter any evidence of any life in the galaxy.
On board the Caliban, life is pretty dull as the ship travels through hyperspace, and Nomi, one of the engineers onboard, makes it clear just how much she hates her job. Then, the impossible happens: the ship collides with an alien ship while in hyperspace. To save the ship from total destruction, the crew takes the ship out of hyperspace, saving it from further damage. This has the unfortunate side effect of fusing the Caliban with this alien ship, including crew members who happened to be standing in the wrong place at the wrong time and who die in pretty horrifying ways. Now, trapped inside an alien vessel and leaking oxygen, they have to figure out how to stay alive while also figuring out what the hell it is they just crashed into.
Facundo Percio is doing great work as the artist for this series, and this comes to life in his most grizzly scenes. The people who were fused into the alien ships are frozen in expressions of agony and shock, and they’re appropriately disturbing to look at for anything more than a few seconds. The geometry of the ship is also appropriately alien to look at. Ennis’ writing is good, though there aren’t that many characters that can be easily distinguished from each other. Given that this is a horror series, it’s safe to assume that a lot of them are going to be chum for monstrosities to chow down on.
As for what’s to come in this series, suffice it to say that the alien ship has some very disturbing surprises waiting for the crew of the Caliban.