REVIEW: 'Redshift' #1 by H.S. Tak, Brent David Mckee, and Sebastian Cheng

Hellener Drake's mother was sent on a mission to seek out a viable planet for their society in the face of dwindling resources. She never returned. Seven years later he's being asked to do the same. Can he do what his mother couldn't? Is he ready to make the ultimate sacrifice?


Writer: H.S. Tak
Artist: Brent David McKee, Sebastian Cheng
Letterer: Joel Rodriguez
Publisher: Scout Comics
Release Date: May 19, 2021
Cover Price: $3.99

While humanity grapples to survive on Mars, the Ministry of Exploration pins mankind's last hope of resurgence on an astronaut who's scared of space. In this space odyssey brew of Total Recall and Interstellar, Hellener and his team of explorers hunt for a new home while civil war threatens to obliterate the last bastion of human life.

★★★1/2 (3.5/5)

I know a story doesn't have to take place in space to be considered science fiction but there's something magical about those that do. There's this other-worldly aspect that's quite literal but also aspirational and futuristic about exploring other worlds especially as a means of survival. There are many stories to be told and it's a kind of escapism and fantasy that captures the imagination. 'Redshift' #1 by H.S. Tak, Brent David McKee, and Sebastian Cheng takes readers to Mars and beyond in an exciting story of exploration, grief, desperation, trauma, and hard choices.

The Ministry of Exploration has the audacity to return to the Drake family and recruit son Hellener. After the matriarch was sent to find a suitable new world never to return, they now ask the same of him. Why? They argue he's uniquely qualified and suited for the voyage. And if the flashback to a training exercise that went awry is any indication they may be right.

Tak builds this world quickly with the ice mining of Mars being of the utmost importance for survival. When that resource is in decline it sets in motion Hellener's journey. We get a lot of background without feeling like it's an information dump but more seamless in the conversations that are being had. Things really pick up when Hellener describes the training incident. 

Brent David McKee and Sebastian Cheng depict the Red Planet as a desolate desert-like landscape. Cheng's filters the exterior shots through a reddish-brown lens and the interior shots of the characters' base with a standard color scheme amid a more industrial look. The scenes in outer space while on an asteroid bring in the wonder of space, its vastness and decorated with dots of light representing other celestial properties. The sequence of Hellener running against time and oxygen is fast-paced but steeped in emotion and urgency. Overall, the art tells the story as much as the dialogue without saying a word.

'Redshift' is an exhilarating sci-fi adventure that's dramatic, emotional, complicated, and exciting. It is a great debut in what could be the start of a thrilling new series. Issue one sets it off in epic style and leaves the reader wanting more. It's all you can ask for a new comic. 



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