Review: Prey For Us #1 (Lab Rat Comics)

Not content with releasing just one title this month, Matt Garvey is at it again with new comic Prey for Us #1. A sci-fi horror comic with artist J Franics Totti (Our Land) that sees a lone survivor from a crashed spaceship trying to locate his crew while being pursued on by an unknown evil.

Publisher: Lab Rat Comics
Writer: Matt Garvey
Artist: J Francis Totti
Price: £3.00 from matgarvey.bigcartel.com


Prey for Us follows Oliver Geary, 1st officer aboard the U.S.C.S.S. Typhoon, who wakes to find his stasis pod has crash-landed on a strange planet. Alone and uncertain of the landscape, Oliver decides to brave this alien world in order to reach the Typhoon and locate other survivors, including the ship’s captain – who also happens to be his wife. As Oliver embarks on this treacherous journey, he discovers that he is being hunted, and toyed with, by a number of deadly creatures who are stalking him from the shadows. What are these things and, more importantly, where did they come from?

After the out-of-this-world-antics of Untitled Generic Space Comedy, writer Matt Garvey is once again having a crack at the world of science-fiction, but this time with a bit more horrific edge to the story. Unlike the slacker charm of UGSC, Prey For Us is an unnerving, atmospheric tale which feels more like a late 80s action movie than truckers in space.

It’s a book that wears it’s influences on it’s sleeve. From the isolationism, android helper and hyper-sleeping crew of Alien, through to the action-packed jungle pursuits of Predator. With space ships and space pods that could be straight out of Star Trek and space suits that feel like they came from the pages of Black Science this is a book which uses tropes and homages to great effect as a short hand for the kind of story that lies ahead of us.

While this may make it sounds quite formulaic, it’s anything but. The visuals in particular from Our Land’s, J Francis Totti help to really separate Prey For Us from the usual dark and gungey sci-fi monster books we see week in and week out. Totti balances slick space ships, with dark and creepy forests, but all the while giving them a lighter more cartoonish approach which reminded us of everything from ‘New Frontier’ to Chris Baldie’s Space Captain (especially with it’s lush green and blue colour scheme, which is probably the comic’s strongest visual feature).

While this style may not seem an obvious one for a book of this nature, it really does a great job of helping it stand out from the crowd and create something which looks and feels fresh and unique. At times it can feel a bit too left field though, and the art feels just a bit too clean and crisp in places, for a book in this genre. However it very quickly veers back to something darker and more edgy – to such an extent that we found that a lot of the reactions by Oliver; such as tears, snot and sweat, seemed rather over exaggerated – but this may just be us!

With Prey Like Us joining books like white NOIR, The Ether, Devil in Disguise, Red Rocket Comet, and Untitled Generic Space Comedy on Matt Garvey’s convention table, he is fast developing one hell of a roster of titles, with top quality books available for every taste (And with more to come in 2019 we hear!). Prey for Us offers readers a slice of classic action sci-fi, as well as an unsettlingly, yet captivating story. Combined with some truly eye popping art from J Francis Totti (who is looking to be an artist to watch in 2019!) it will give you something really great for your money. While this issue does have the odd minor quibble, the intrigue of what is to come makes this a comic that is definitely worth hunting down!

 

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