With a Kickstarter nearing the mid way point, we check out the first two issues of The Saturn Effect: Alpha, a sci-fi series by Chris Moses and Francesco Mazzoli which follows up on the pair’s initial webcomic, The Saturn Effect: Ajax. Can this new comic be a worthy follow up or will it end up lost in space?
Publisher: Red Sea Comics
Writer: Chris Moses
Artist: Francesco Mazzoli (art), Marco Turambar d’Alessandro (colours), Reed Hinckley-Barnes (Letters)
Price: Currently Funding on Kickstarter
The Saturn Effect: Alpha is set two years after the explosive conclusion to the previous instalment. These issues continue the story of Alpha, as he and his sister, Centauri, deal with the consequences of war on their home, people and family. However, as their attempts to free the colonies from Earth’s control appear to lose help, the siblings find themselves allies, both real and hidden which could just turn the tables and all them to succeed in their mission.
Writer Chris Moses has written an intriguing story, the main key of which is the world in which it inhabits. Moses seems to have really put tremendous thought into the society his characters inhabit, with the social and political landscape implied baring a similarity to Mass Effect and The Expanse in terms of its scope. However, this richness of world building seems to also be its undoing, as this rendition of The Saturn Effect doesn’t take the time to flesh out the various aspects of society; the political landscape, the societal hierarchy etc.
As a result, the characters feel directionless, with the main characters of Alpha and Centauri in particularly, progressing with a story arc which hasn’t been fully explained to the reader. It felt like the contents of these first issues could have filled a whole series due to its depth but, instead, feels very compressed and rather confusing .
Meanwhile, Francesco Mazzoli’s artwork is gorgeous in these issues, providing the Saturn Effect with a very futuristic look which is reminiscent of Dustin Nguyen’s work in Descender with a touch of Matteo Scalara in Black Science. This is coupled with Marco Turambar d’Alessandro’s colours which help sell the harsh world that our protagonists are living in. However, much like the story itself, the art seems to suffer from a lack of space to tell the tale, resulting in the work not being given the chance to make an impact without any dialogue.
The Saturn Effect: Alpha is a title with a mass of potential but, with these early issues, struggles to find it’s footing. However, if you like the haunting art of Descender and a good dose of in depth human interaction in a sci-fi setting, this may be something worth checking out when the full story is complete.