PREVIEW: 'Red Sonja' #9 by Mirka Andolfo and Giuseppe Cafaro

REVIEW: 'Download' #1 by Scott Chitwood, Danny Luckert and P.H. Gomes

DOWNLOAD #1

Writer: Scott Chitwood
Artist: Danny Luckert P.H. Gomes
Letters: Troy Peteri & Dave Lanphear
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Release Date: December 22, 2021
Cover Price: $3.95

When Eric is hit by a mysterious blast of light from space, he suddenly finds his mind filled with designs for strange devices.  But when he blindly begins building them, he won't discover what they do until he and his friends turn them on.  But do they dare?  In the spirit of The Goonies and Explorers, the adventure begins here from the creators of Haunted and Riptide!

Score:

★★★1/2 (3.5/5)

'Download' #1 by Scott Chitwood, Danny Luckert, and P.H. Gomes offers a familiar science-fiction story but its engaging characters and charm carry readers through. The first issue sets up the premise without revealing what's at stake or how the comic will unfold. It's enough to hook readers with promises of 'Goonies'-inspired adventure. 

The issue opens up with an archeological find with ancient drawings deemed too dangerous to be shared. Then we meet teenager Eric with his friends creating their own comic book. A sudden ray of light from space forces Eric to collapse. Later, imbued with this mysterious inner light, Eric obsessively draws these figures similar to the ones in the cave from the opening. Page after page, the drawings lead to building a model that sucks up the energy around town. The kids have stumbled onto something they don't understand but wield a lot of power. 

Anytime someone is showered with any kind of light from unknown extraterrestrial forces, that person is about to be given power, maybe a superpower that changes the world around them. In comic books, it can be a powerful ring, or from a combination of lightning and experimental science, an ancient amulet, gamma rays, a genetically-altered spider, any number of McGuffins to jump-start the plot. 'Download' is no different. Yet, the pacing and dialogue keep things moving with good character chemistry and a likable lead in Eric. We've seen this before but as a young adult comic, it offers a lot in terms of mystery, relatability, and the potential for adventure. 

Danny Luckert and P.H. Gomes provide a sharply drawn and richly colored comic that looks great and moves smoothly from scene to scene. Luckert's characterizations capture the teens in a small town fallen by extraordinary circumstances well and in the spirit of 'Goonies' and 'Stranger Things.' Gomes's colors are bright and rich but the influx of radiating light really stands out. It makes Eric's infusion of the mysterious light and his use of it all the more dramatic and powerful. 

'Download' #1 is a charming and exciting new title from Red 5 that deserves a read. It's an aspirational new adventure mini-series that sets the stage for some fun sci-fi action. Issue one is a winner and should be on your radar.  

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