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