REVIEW: 'Black Beacon' #1 by Ryan K. Lindsay, Sebastian Piriz, and Jame

 

BLACK BEACON #1

Writer: Ryan K Lindsay

Artist: Sebastian Piriz

Letters: Jame

Publisher: Heavy Metal

Release Date: July 28, 2021

Cover Price: $2.99

There's an intergalactic space station out there bigger than our solar system where wants everyone to come along and meet up. The beacon made it sound like a utopia, but what Niko finds upon her arrival is a lawless expanse where everyone is out for themselves and she's so late she doesn't even have a seat at the table. A story of survival, truth, and experience lies in front of Niko if she can figure out who to trust and what to do before the secret of her journey catches up with her.

Score:

★★★★☆ (4/5)

'Black Beacon' #1 by Ryan Lindsay and Sebastian Piriz is an immersive experience, a sci-fi fantasy that drops the reader in the middle of the action. It's like jumping on a moving train but the ride is worth it. We're introduced to Bar, a protector, and an investigator on this sphere, who's running down the landing of a vessel. It lands and Niko emerges. As a writer, she's been sent to document what goes on there since a welcoming beacon was broadcast inviting all comers. What she encounters is a rude awakening. 

The first thing that will strike readers is the abundance of rich saturated colors on the page. The yellows, oranges, and reds just soak into the lines of every panel. It's an all-enveloping landscape of brilliantly designed space aliens and environs that consume the eyes. It's simply a beautifully illustrated comic. 

Lindsay puts these two different characters together and reveals their inner dialogue as a way, yes, to provide exposition, but to also establish their philosophies and motivations. Bar has this protective and inquisitive attachment to Niko that is instant. It parallels our interest in her and what she's doing there. Those answers lie in her monologue. Everything we need to know is expressed one way or another, so Lindsay clarifies who these characters are. The poignant aspect of all this rests in the false promise that this beacon proposed. A land of inclusivity open to all cultures without judgment. A literal beacon of hope for all who sought refuge. The reality as Niko learns is far from it. Bar describes a society getting worse and worse and whatever potential this land had has been corrupted devolving into class and culture division. It sounds a little familiar. 

'Black Beacon' #1 is a charming and engaging sci-fi story about two characters at different points in their lives, one is disillusioned with the world around him and the other seeks to explore the unknowns of the same world. Both are on this journey of discovery, of each other and themselves, in a land of broken promises. It looks like nothing you've seen before and you will fall under its spell. 

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