451 Entertainment's newest series Red Dog 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, Ex Mortis, as well as his criminally under-appreciated series Overrun), and featuring art by Rob Atkins and colors by John Rauch.
Red Dog is the story of Kyle, the only kid on the inhospitable planet Kirawan. Kyle describes it as the "worst place imaginable" because Kirawan is a giant desert wasteland, devoid of water and oxygen.
He's one of the mining colony of almost 200 souls sent to mine for the highly sought after time-altering element Imperium, and suffers the loneliness that plagues many young people in an adult world. He has no real friends, perpetually getting in trouble, and always attempting to fit in. A typical kid. Fortunately he has a faithful robotic-canine companion in the form of Q, short for Quantum, the titular Red Dog to keep him company.
After the cliffhanger ending of the first issue, this issue starts off with a large dose of action. Right away Q saves Kyle from the onslaught of attacking natives. The insectile race of natives have been making trouble for the mining colony, threatening the stability of the bio-dome they reside in, and they are warded off by some quick thinking, heavy weapons, and a helping hand from a great beast (and nice homage to Dune) from this twin-sunned world.
Later, Kyle's parents argue, and he mopes. His father has insurmountable standards he feels he'll never meet. But his Uncle Jake has something special for Kyle's birthday. Not only did he make Q, but now he's given him 5 more robotic dog siblings. They of course get an immediate make over, and shortly thereafter they get busted during some play time.
The struggle for survival is tough out in the far reaches of space and I'm sure we'll see much more of the natives and their interactions with the human colony. We can't yet say for sure why they are so hostile, and we could learn a lot in the coming issues what they are really up to.
There was a small tease at the time-travelling properties of Imperium in this issue with the return of a robot that had vanished previously- making me wonder if we'll see how and when the mass accumulation of it might make its reappearance soon. We have yet to see it work on anything living, which might open an entire new potential for storytelling promise, and I believe that is what writers Cohen and Ewington have in store for us.
This issue in particular gives us one very nice clue to the the future of our protagonist. Kyle may be much, much more than he knows, as is hinted at with a steaming cup of allusion (hint, hint!), a nice conversation with Uncle Jake, and one small interaction with his mother. I won't spoil it for you, but it is an extremely tantalizing one that directly involves Kyle.
Red Dog is only at issue 2 (of 6) and it's shaping up to be a tremendous sci fi series. It holds all the right elements for a good sci fi tale, it has strong writing and excellent art, and keeps things honed in on the true heart of the story- the boy and his dog(s). On top of that, we've gotten some robots, aliens, and time travel, what more could we want? There's a lot of questions that remain unanswered, but there's also 4 more issues to come- and I for one am quite eager for them to arrive.
Red Dog Issue 2 hits stands tomorrow (Wed. January 11th, 2017)
Red Dog Issue 1 [ Review ]
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*Review copy provided by 451, Thank You!