Advent Rising #1 (2004)
Writer - Lee Hammock
Penciller - Billy Dallas Patton
Inker - Serge LaPointe
Letterer - Ken Lopez
Colorist - Thomas Mason
Editor - Jaye Gardner
Director of Creative Services - Ron Perazza
Creator - Donald Mustard
Today we're going to discuss another find from my garage of gar-bage... and hey, it's another video game tie-in freebie!
This time around it's Advent Rising, a 2005 game for the original Xbox by Majesco. Perhaps best known these days for its poorly planned and ill-fated million dollar Xbox Live contest. Seems this game couldn't catch a break. The games official webpage was AdventTrilogy(dot)com (which I won't link for fear of where it may lead us these 13 years later)... which tells me that there were supposed to be a few sequels. None of which came. Oh well. Anyhoo, this ain't a video game blog... so let's take a look at the "collector's edition" comics tie-in.
We open with a pair of aliens attempting to kneel before a group of exalted humans. They come with the dire warning that there might be some baddies called The Seekers on their way to bring the pain. The leader of the "glorious humans" asks when they might expect the Seekers, and is informed that they should arrive within the next two days.
She turns to the two pilots of her ambassador shuttle, Ethan and Gideon Wyeth, and sends them to High Command to report this new information. As soon as they take off... well, hey... looks like the Seekers are early! The brothers Wyeth take some enemy fire, and immediately reverse course back into the space station. It's a good thing that Gideon is good "at crashing", because... they're in for one.
The brothers get out and check in with the boss. Before their conversation goes too far, the Seekers begin to infiltrate. Surprisingly, the baddies all deboard from their own crafts to get up close and personal with our new pals.
Gideon and Ethan hold the Seekers back with some sharp shooting until backup arrives. They then head back toward the living quarters so that Gideon can save his fiancee, Olivia. Ethan promises to protect the escape pods while Gideon completes his fetch quest.
Gideon fights his way back, and manages to meet with his betrothed... who appears to be rather spooked! Turns out she is being pursued by a lizard-headed alien. Gideon aims his piece at him annnnnnnd... we're out! If we want any more, we're going to have to play the game.
Short and to the point... introduced some characters, and acquainted them with their threat. A nice amount of action to boot! Perfectly serviceable for a prologue piece, even if it wasn't all that interesting to me. Given that they only had 10 pages to fill, I get that this isn't going to be a rollicking space opera epic, and I'm not going to hold its constrictions against it.
I really dug the character designs. Our main characters are immediately identifiable, and I thought the aliens all looked really cool. I'm surprised I haven't run into more work by Patton, (outside of a few wonky eyes) he's really quite good.
We only get ten pages here... so, we don't get a whole lot of depth. We see that Gideon is trying to get out of his older brother's shadow, and that he's a talented pilot and gunman. Older brother Ethan seems like a pretty good fella. He looks to be the "big man on campus", and seems like an altruistic and likable sort. Even in a hail of gunfire, he's more concerned with his little bro's ability to escape than his own safety. I've never played the video game, but I could totally see ol' Ethan valiantly sacrificing his life at some point.
Overall... not a whole lot more to say. It was a decent enough introduction to the concept, and a well put together little freebie. The art was so much better than I was expecting as well. If you somehow come across this... maybe in your own over-cluttered garage, it's worth a flip through. You won't get a satisfying ending... or any ending for that matter, but there are certainly worse ways to spend five minutes.