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‘HaloGen’ #1: God Is Dead

‘HaloGen’ #1: God Is Dead

HaloGen #1
Written by Josh Tierney
Art by Afu Chan
Colors by Shelly Chen
Published by BOOM! Studios/Archaia

Well, A god is dead, anyways.

That’s what HaloGen #1 establishes in its opening page: a withered, sprawling space god, Det’Houva, floating in the nothingness of space, scavengers (of a sort) hauling it away. Immediately, we’re introduced to a cult, learn of their demise, jump forward a feHaloGen01Rell

w years, and meet Rell, our protagonist on CityShip Q. Part industrial spy, part dead-god bounty hunter, she’s been tasked with tracking down Det’Houva. Besides herself and HaloGen, she has rival company SecuriCorp and pro-robot group, Robotics to contend with. Not to mention any cultists that survived…

Afu Chan’s artwork is front and center from page 1, and if you follow his work, this book feels less rigid than the pieces on his site or the work he and writer Josh Tierney did together on Spera. But less rigid isn’t bad: the characters are more than easily distinguished, they’re downright recognizable. Rell’s nose and eyes set her apart, no matter how close she appears in a panel, and Chan makes sure to give each character their own distinct look, whether human, alien, or robotic. Chan gets to draw everything from frog-like creatures to hard-lined robots, spindly gods to dreadlocked aliens. Every page offers something fun to look (or laugh) at.

The writing is a bit clunky, especially some of the dialogue between Rell and Krallix at the bar. It’s a lot of exposition and character information thrown at the reader at once. Rell’s interactions with Jae and Mason both felt grounded in comparison, albeit those moments were character beats and plot rather than introduction. TARCHAIA_HaloGen_001_PRESS_pdfhe world Tierney’s created has a ton of potential, CityShip Q especially. The city gets to serve as a mirror of itself, one view normal and the other distorted, with HaloGen and SecuriCorp playing the same role on different “hemispheres”. Adding in the mysterious Robotics and Black Space Cultists only serves to fully flesh out the world.

To not mention Shelly Chen’s coloring would be remiss: this book is blue and red through and through. From the bar, to Rell herself, these two colors (and all 50 shades in between) permeate each panel. Whether it’s just the palette or if there’s a theme to the scheme, the next 3 books will tell.

So, should you buy it? The premise is cool but the art can be a bit jarring if you aren’t expecting it. The potential makes it a worthwhile read—a romp through space in pursuit of a dead god? Holograms, robots, industrial espionage, and cults, too? Read it, enjoy it, look forward to the next 3 issues.