Starcraft: Survivors #1– Jody Houser, Gabriel Guzman & Michael Atiyeh (Dark Horse)

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There are a multitude of things that I get excited about in terms of comic books. But over the last few years, on the top of that list is the sentence “an original story by Jody Houser.” Her work with some of my favourite franchises including Star Wars Doctor Who and The X-Files has been phenomenal and my love of her take on the Stranger Things back story, is splurged all over this very site, so when presented with the opportunity to have sneaky look at Starcraft: Survivors, you bet your sweet backside I wasn’t going to miss that.

And when I say Starcraft, yes I’m talking the multimedia science fiction conglomerate that started life as a Windows game and has since taken on a life of its own in much the same way Dungeons and Dragons and Warcraft did before it.  Indeed the real life table top RPG sees players from all over the world competing every year, in competitions and televised tournaments. So right from the off Houser has her work cut out, in making sense of all the various elements of this world and squeezing them into this book. But in Jody we trust.

There’s no set up to speak off and we are thrust immediately into the thick of things as Caleb a Terran space engineer, whilst surrounded by the lifeless bodies of his comrades is forced into infiltrating a munitions factory by the sapient humanoid Protoss, to locate a mysterious power source. Finding himself part of a new crew Caleb struggles to make friends, choosing to keep himself to himself until Dahlia a fellow refugee takes him under her wing. It’s not a familiar franchise to me, so a bit more background might have helped to get this over with a more casual fan, but none the less, what we have here is essentially a human interest story with Caleb the lost soul meeting Dahlia and her family, who help him realise that life goes on. But of course there’s the ever present threat of the Protoss , providing the story with a certain element of horror, who seemingly have the young engineer at their beckoned call.

The striking art of Gabriel Guzman proves to be a perfect complement to Houser’s writing, especially in the scenes of horror which he lends a dark and almost foreboding feel. But as standalone book it’s very much a scene setter and I fully expect Jody Houser to build on this in the forthcoming instalments ,with some additional background, which I have utmost faith that she will. If you’re looking for nerve shredding space horror, then I suspect that this series will be one to keep an eye on.…Chris Andrews

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