Simon is a lonely guy just trying to get by. He sticks to about a bottle a week of painkillers to numb his pain—especially that inflicted by his wife (Annabelle), who left him for Edward Madigan (recently pronounced dead). Simon is called to investigate the death. Despite Annabelle’s protests, he takes the job because it pays $100,000. While on the ship where Edward was working, Hadrian’s Wall, Simon meets up with Annabelle, who has some judgments about him. Luckily, Simon just wants to get his work done and leave. But it won’t be that easy when someone flushes all his painkillers.
There are a few things in this script that I’m a little curious about. The man who came to ask Simon for help on the investigation saw that he was eating painkillers like candy. Why would he ask Simon to do this job when he knows that his state of mind isn’t quite reliable? My money says that’s the guy who flushed the pills. Of course, Annabelle hates Simon, so it could be her, too.
Another thing I’m questioning is the economic state of the U.S. in 2085, as the setting is for this issue. Simon is trying to pay for his pills with cash. The pharmacist gives him the wrong amount of change and they argue, so the pharmacist finally says, “…either take that…or pay with creds like a normal person.” How much did the world have to warp so that math, freaking MATH, has become obsolete? Currency changes I understand, but you still have to count creds (I presume, admitting that I don’t fully know what a “cred” is in this world, nor what it’s worth).
There are other concepts in the issue that I love, though. The design for umbrellas and flying cars are innovative and imaginative. The concept of space travel isn’t a new one; we’ve seen it, we’ve done it, we’ve gotten pictures of it. The thing about this trip that intrigues me is to find out how Edward died. His visor simply broke. How in the Hell did it happen? Nothing was shown to hit him. Why was he so far away from the ship? He wasn’t tethered or anything of the sort. I’m looking forward to this investigation, especially how Simon is going to function without his painkillers.
Rod Reis’ artwork is very futuristic—almost everything is chrome—which makes the time and place setting believable. Characters’ faces look pretty realistic, too, aside from a few inconsistencies. The art style is really beautiful, with brilliant colors, deep shadows, and an almost ethereal feel to it. Light sources are not just taken into account, but emphasized for a more dramatic tone. Annabelle herself stands out from everyone else, with her green hair and lipstick. She commands attention when in a room, and it looks absolutely stunning.
This is a really great issue to start the series. Our protagonist is an unreliable narrator who I’m sure will give us a story to enjoy. Higgins and Siegel write Simon’s character with a great deal of carefulness and depth. This is definitely a series that any sci-fi fan will enjoy.
Written by: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel
Illustrated by: Rod Reis