From John Carter and Flash Gordon to Star Wars, Star Trek and beyond, space travel has long been a staple genre in storytelling, with a limitless galaxy being fertile grounds of practically any kind of tale. This week we take a look at one such tale as creators George Pell and Luke Horsman bring us The Odyssey Initiation, a story about one man’s mission to save the galaxy from a totalitarian regime.
Publisher: Jettison Zone
Writer: George Pell
Artist: Luke Horsman
In a Galaxy where the last free races have banded together in order to stave off invasion from the relentlessly malevolent Draconian Confederacy, the Odyssey Initiation follows Achilles, an Agent of the Alliance’s elite Sentinel program, as he is tasked with retrieving a specialist artefact when the vessel it is on is brutally attacked. However, when the artefact is found to be missing, Achilles discovers that not only is this item a device of unimaginable power that could very well end the wall but also that Hades, a fellow Sentinel agent, has gone rogue as he attempts to acquire this artefact for the enemy. Now, Achilles must track down his former comrade and ensure that their mutual goal remains out of the enemy’s hands, lest they finally gain the power necessary to crush the alliance and take full control of the Galaxy.
George Pell has written an intriguing sci-fi story within the pages of this comic as the plot develops almost immediately from a standard action adventure to something a little more thriller-esque. Achilles and his crew are interesting characters, especially Ad whose personality feels like an amalgamation of Star Wars droids C3PO and HK-47. However, with so many characters and so little space to flesh them all out in, these personas come across as surface level thus far (although with room to grow going forward).
The story itself is a fun yarn, which certainly does straddle the line between thriller and action. However, its pacing does lag in places, making it difficult to maintain a consistent enjoyment. Also, some of the plot and dialogue feels a little wooden and contrived in places as story progression doesn’t always come across naturally. Finally, the Odyssey Initiation also contains a lot of similarities to the original Mass Effect video game in terms of plot and events. While this may or may not be a negative against the title (this reviewer actually enjoys that game series) and it is by no means a carbon copy, it’s difficult to not notice how very alike they are at certain plot points.
Meanwhile, Luke Horsman’s art is an interesting style which works in Initiation’s favour as the issue progress. Horsman’s work does appear a little rough to begin with but that ‘roughness’ actually looks very distinct, giving this title a very unique look. In fact, the closest comparison that can be given is fellow space adventuring title Descending Outlands although, unlike Outlands more natural colour palette, Horsman uses a very bright, colourful and almost neon-esque colour scheme which really works with the tone of the story and further imbues a homage of sorts to the Mass Effect franchise.
While it is by no means perfect, The Odyssey Initiation is an enjoyable title with an intriguing story and some very loud art. Given its obvious comparisons, fans of space adventure stories, such as Mass Effect and Star Trek, may find this more intriguing than others. Nonetheless, it is certainly a comic that should be given a look.