Sol Survivor #1
Written by: Fred Packard and Joshua Valliere
Art by: Daniel “PEZ!” Lopez
Publisher by: Charon Comics

There’s about ten different ways I thought about starting this review for Sol Survivor #1. There’s just so much amazing that it feels like I want to blurt out everything at once. So where to start..

I’m going to start by talking about Charon Comics. This is the second book I’ve read from this comic company – the first being Skylin #1. You can read that review by clicking here but if you want the Reader’s Digest version: “I really hate calling a comic “perfect” because you would think that most comics have their flaws. Even comics that I normally rate an A+ may have something a tiny bit wrong here or there but overall is still great. Skylin #1 is a masterpiece. It is perfect.”

Skylin was so good it made me want to reach out to Charon Comics and ask for a job on the book. I don’t care what it is. Editor, Advanced Reader, Color Suggester. Maybe the guy who sweeps the floor at night…I dunno. When I saw their next book Sol Survivor was coming out I said to myself, “Well here comes another book. I wonder if it is going to be as good as Skylin. That is probably impossible.”

I’m here to tell you that it is possible. Sol Survivor #1 is so damn good. The writing here is tight and the artwork is brilliant. Where Skylin’s artist Adam Cozart brought his unique style to a world of sword and sorcery, Dan “PEZ!” Lopez brings such a tight, stunning look to this science fiction adventure. Sol Survivor is like bringing The Last of Us and Mass Effect together. The action is quick, loud, and intense. The alien creatures that inhabit this world look fantastic. They are so fantastic that Pez! should really go work on the next Star Wars film designing aliens – or at least the next Mass Effect game. Once again the colors are so damn amazing on this book. Some of the colors almost glow. I can’t explain how intense these colors are beyond saying, “Holy crap that looks great.” I don’t know how Charon does it. The saying “There must be something in the water” comes to mind – I don’t know what writers Fred Packard and Josh Valliere are drinking but I want some. I want some right now.

I’m going to bring up a gripe first. Book is too short. Way too short. I just counted the pages and the book is made up of…30 pages. That can’t be right. But it is. Fine – so here’s my gripe adjusted: At 30 pages this book only wet my appetite. I want more story right away and it is so completely mean that Charon Comics aren’t releasing issue 1 and issue 2 together. Why are you going to make me wait? Right as the story was getting better and better it’s all like, “See you next issue!” JERKS.

Before I even get to a plot synopsis I’m going to really impress on you that Charon Comics are producing comics that they almost have no right producing. This is an indy comic company – one that most probably have never heard of. Yet their production values match anything the big comic companies are doing. Maybe even better than some of those comics. It’s not just the writing. It’s not just the pencils. Or the inks. Or the colors. But all of that together with such tight stories, amazing action, and colors that scream off the page – it all points to the face that Charon Comics should be an instant sensation. The entire comic book world should learn their name overnight.

Sol Survivor #1 is a play on words as the main character Sol is a survivor (as a sole survivor is a person who is the only survivor of a deadly incident). The Earth has been ravaged and Sol, at one time, tried to fight. It was a fight he lost. It was a fight that many lost. Who invaded Earth? Who killed human after human? And why? We see a small fraction of Sol’s story but the book suddenly fast forwards a couple years.

A crew lands and accuses one of their own of being a thief. This band of aliens look like one mean group and the poor guy who is accused of stealing may not walk away alive. Sol finds himself suddenly pushed into this group. This crew of space pirates don’t know what to make of this person but Sol just wants a ride off planet. He is willing to do whatever it takes. That’s where the fun begins. Well at least for the reader. For Sol it means he may be in for the fight of his life.

That is going to be my entire summation of the first issue. Why? I’m going to go back to the quick storytelling. This book flows so well it just flies by. There’s three major sections of the first issue: Sol during the attack on Earth, Sol and the space pirates, and the third part that I’m not going to reveal. Because of this quick storytelling I feel like revealing any more of the plot simply delves right into spoiler territory. And spoiling this comic would be like spoiling a great ending to a book. I’m going to just STFU for now. The best part is that this isn’t the end. This is just the beginning.

While I love sci-fi & films in outer space I haven’t always been the biggest fan of comics in space. I dug Star Wars and Micronauts as a kid. I branched out a bit with Alien Legion and Valentino’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Perhaps more when Abnett and Lanning were on Legion of Superheroes. All those books have one major thing in common: they are space books produced by comic companies that could hire the best talent.

I really think it was Sean Wang’s Runners that really showed me that a space epic could not only be told but told well. As Sean produced that series independently it makes it all the more satisfying. Just weeks ago I read Zenescope’s The Black Sable and while Zenescope isn’t an indy comic company like Charon is, it still isn’t a company like Marvel and DC. I was damn impressed with Black Sable. I’m even more impressed with Sol Survivor. Reading this book almost feels like you are watching a movie or playing a video game. You can’t wait to get your eyes to the next panel. To read what is next. To see what was drawn.

This book blew me away. I can’t reiterate that fact enough. This book will blow you away too. There is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the best books of 2017 and it would be foolish not to pick it up. If you aren’t familiar with Charon Comics you should search them out right away. Between Skylin #1 and Sol Survivor #1 this company is really going for the jugular. How they are doing everything right is beyond me, but I’m more than happy to say that I’m happy to get in on the ground floor. I’ll end with 4 simple world on Sol Survivor #1: “Buy this book. Now.”

RANK: A+

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