In issue one, we met Captain Pierce who has been tasked with finding a way to navigate The Expanse in order to track down the marauders who destroyed and ransacked Port Prince. Her journey has led her to a former smuggler and pirate named William. In a series of flashback sequences, we meet William (a.k.a. Billy) leading a raid on an Aquilan military airship then having the gall to challenge his captain for leadership. That does not end well for William who is tossed overboard with the dead bodies. He’s found by a then-Lieutenant Pierce and handed over to authorities. Eventually imprisoned in the notorious Redford Penitentiary for years, he and the now-Captain Pierce meet again. But, this time, she has an offer he might not want to refuse.
The art and coloring by Pablo Peppino and Bryan Valenza are tremendous throughout the comic, and it shows they have put a lot of thought and effort into it. More Dieselpunk than Steampunk, the story is setting up to be a terrific adventure so I doubt anyone will care. I really like this comic and the character of Captain Pierce, but as I mentioned in my previous review, my criticism has to do with lack of diversity in both women and people of color. There was a reference to a deceased female captain, and I saw one woman drawn in with the band of marauders, but that’s it. And, absolutely no people of color were shown anywhere. I realize this is a fantasy world based loosely on Europe, but since it is fantasy, you do have the ability to incorporate anyone you want to into your world as long as it makes sense. I believe that their world would have been even richer if there had been more diversity in even the background characters.
I read the pdf version, but I suspect the print version will be just as gorgeous as issue one. There is a wonderful map of the Aquilan Empire inside as well as fun “communiques” and “reports” between Lt. Pierce and her commanding officer. I’m definitely looking forward to the next issue.