Is the name of the new 4 issue science fiction series from 451 Entertainment. The comic is brought to us by the talented writers Rob Cohen (of XXX and The Fast and the Furious fame) and Andi Ewington (writer of SIX, Sunflower, and Ex Mortis, as well as his criminally under-appreciated series Overrun). The art is by Rob Atkins and colored by John Rauch.
The inhospitable planet of our protagonist Kyle, the only kid out of nearly 200 members of the human colony, is surrounded by twin suns, leaving the world in a cycle of perpetual daytime. It also leaves the land as essentially a desert wasteland.
Kirawan has neither oxygen, nor water, and is inhabited by a hostile native race of insectile aliens. Kyle describes it as the "worst place imaginable." Luckily, the colony has created a bio-dome with all the necessities, and offers a way to survive and grow a ton of wheat for food and beer and so on.
Kyle spends his days with Q trying to get through all his chores, and finding ways to live up to his father's standards, but the story on a whole is about a boy and his dog. The dog here is the titular red dog, Q, which is short for Quantum. Q is an artificial intelligence of sorts, created by Kyle's uncle Jake, and powered by a quantum computer. He acts just as a real dog, being playful and curious, and looks to be the character that will end up being at the true heart of the series.
This is where the real cool stuff the book might have in store for us is. The reason all the colonist miners have come to Kirawan is for a mysterious element that was first discovered in the 23rd century called Imperium. It is extremely rare, and has an even rarer property- it opens the possibility for time travel.
This is what holds a vast amount of promise for the series. A good time travel tale can open up stories with infinite possibility, and I believe that is what Red Dog has planned for the future. We get to see only the barest effect of the element, and the hint of what may be done with it, and as a huge time travel fanatic, that has got me salivating to so how the creators will be putting it to use.
My only complaint is a small, apparent inconsistency. There is the fact that the boy's name is Kyle, but a guy named Joey refers to him as Kylo. No one else calls him that and I can't help wonder if it's a nickname or a spelling error, due to the similar names I am not entirely sure. It's an extremely tiny thing overall and I said apparent because I'm unsure which is true. What's important is they've set up Red Dog for some really big things to come.
This first issue has given us a lot of potential and a great cast of characters. It has all the right set up, and leaves us on a cliffhanger that leaves me wondering how Kyle will come through after the natives attack. Are the native aliens truly malevolent, or is Kyle correct in his notion that they are more than just animals? Where and when will the lost Imperium re-arrive? There's a lot of questions we'll be seeing answered in the future.
As with many of 451's comics this is an updated take on a classic story- the clearest example being their newest series NVRLND being a modern take on Peter Pan- Red Dog has at it's core the coming of age tale of a boy and his dog set in an interesting sci fi universe. With that in mind, Red Dog has a little Lassie, a bit of Ender's Game, and a hefty dose of John Carter of Mars to round out what is looking like a wonderful new kind of science fiction comic.
Red Dog hits the stands November 16th.
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*Review copy provided by 451, Thank You!