PAKLIS

SFX - - Reviews -

This new an­thol­ogy se­ries is a ve­hi­cle for writer/ artist Dustin Weaver (pre­vi­ously best known for co-cre­at­ing SHIELD: Ar­chi­tects Of For­ever) to ex­plore his own ec­cen­tric ideas. The first three is­sues fall some­where be­tween the ex­per­i­men­tal edge of Im­age’s Is­land and the sci-fi ac­tion of early 2000 AD.

The first two is­sues lead off with stand­alone sto­ries, “Mush­room Bod­ies” and “An Empty Shell In The Ocean”. In the for­mer, a man may or may not be turn­ing into an in­sect; in the lat­ter, a sword­wield­ing agent be­comes ob­sessed with a mys­te­ri­ous woman. There’s a cer­tain mania to Weaver’s com­po­si­tion that’s a good fit for th­ese one-offs, which fall some­where be­tween Kafka and Lynch. An­gles lean dis­ori­en­tat­ingly and re­al­ity is only ever a panel away from tak­ing a night­mar­ish twist.

The rest of th­ese is­sues (and all of is­sue three) are taken up with pulpy space-op­er­at­ics. “Am­nia Cy­cle” is a sprawl­ing, semi-im­pro­vised saga about a space pi­lot, her ex-lover and a mys­te­ri­ous alien. It’s en­ter­tain­ing enough, with some mem­o­rable im­agery, but doesn’t quite jus­tify the length. The black-and-white in­stal­ments of “Sagittarius A*”, mean­while, have the op­po­site prob­lem: they’re beau­ti­fully de­tailed, but too brief! Weaver dis­plays an ad­mirable range in Paklis, but it’s in the stranger pieces that his work re­ally shines. Will Salmon

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