Space dramas seem to be having a bit of a revival at the moment, thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy and the return of Star Wars, and independent comics are getting in on the act with titles like Shaun Dobie’s Descending Outlands and now Robert Salley and George Acevedo’s Salvagers: Abandoned Cargo putting together nefarious bands of ragtag space brigands. But can this book clean up or will it be another title destined for the scrap heap?
Publisher: Think Alike Comics
Writer: Robert Salley
Artist: George Acevedo (Artist), DeSiKa (Colourist), HdE (Letterer)
Price: £1.99/£2.99 from ComiXology
Salvagers takes place in a future where, after a galactic war, the interstellar community is coping with a new peace. But not all are enjoying this calm and instead turn to crime, in turn with destroying each other’s ships or being destroyed by military. But what happens to all these derelict, damaged and abandoned ships once the fighting has stopped? Captain Billy Roenick and his crew are Salvagers; groups of people hired by Governments, Empires and Corporations to clear away these broken ships. However, while in the midst of performing their new job, Billy and his crew find that this mission will be no where near as simple as they thought.
Hitting the ground running and staying that way, Robert Salley has written a story which is fast and frenetic from start to finish. With a tight script, which slows the pace only when the story demands it, the first three issues is an action packed ride similar in the vein of many of the Firefly episodes (notably the Train Job). The key to the book is the character interactions, with all the characters split into contrasting pairs in order to gain the most conflicts (and most humour). From Reagan and ARVI and Teagan and Brigby to Billy and a hilarious G-9, these characters are written in such a way that their conversations really show their depth of personality, especially Brigsby, who is reminiscent of Rocket from Guardian (in spirit more than look).
Of course, the art does a good job of contributing to a great book without ruining the atmosphere the writing builds. George Acevedo and DeSiKa provide this series with an incredibly Alex Maleev type of art which really fits the title’s aesthetic well despite the style’s more noir roots. What probably helps that is DeSiKa’s colours which, while maintaining very grim and understated backgrounds, makes the characters themselves much more vibrant and colourful to the point that there is a lovely contrast. Of course, there are some minor quibbles like confusing panels such as an early one first showing the battle droids. However, this is a rare occurrence and is more than made up for by some wacky ideas like Brigsby’s hand snake midway through the second issue.