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‘Venus:’ Trade Paperback Review

Venus is legendary. It is what readers expect when they seek out science fiction. It is what writers dream about being able to create, period. Rick Loverd and Filip Sablik, creators of Venus, capture a premise and never let any momentum slip as Loverd, writer of this magnificent mini-series, generates a heart-pounding tale that will leave readers breathless.

BOOM! Studios released this trade paperback this week, and those that did not read the individual comic books are in for a binge worthy, Netflix-like experience. Loverd’s experience as a writer, and Program Director of National Academy of Sciences’ The Science and Entertainment Exchange, have allowed him the necessary tools to generate such an amazing story. And this story blasts off from page one and this metaphorical storytelling ship doesn’t run out of fuel.

The crew of the “Mayflower” is set to land as a giant first step in their Venus Expedition, competing for resources to match the Pan Pacific Alliance’s mining company formed on Mars. This American expedition suffers a cataclysmic event, leading to harrowing injuries and deaths of some crew members. The introduction of this story, voiced by the Captain, effortlessly captures the essence of their journey, while also mentioning “America’s most celebrated pilot, Commander Pauline Manashe.” The circumstances of her leadership are immediately questioned and her responses are utterly perfect and logical.

Not only does Manashe sound the part as a great leader, her fierce determination can be seen through Huang Danlan’s artistry. The reader doesn’t think twice when she gives an order. In fact, you might question why anyone else in the story does question her. Manashe saves lives after a crash landing by making quick decisions. The chaos surrounding the team’s dramatic start on Venus shows everyone’s true character, and she doesn’t bend under the pressure. She stands tall.

This series is full of larger-than-life panels showcasing the size of their base camps and high-impact action scenes. Let’s not forget the deadly environment of the volatile planet surface. Vibrant colors by Marcio Menyz perfectly highlight these atmospheric conditions and the technological realm: fiery orange from the volcanic streams, blue glows from computer screens, and violent red backdrops from Manashe’s can-do attitude. The reader learns she doesn’t take orders and she definitely finishes a fight, despite the fact that someone else started it.

This mini-series catapults the reader to a distant planet with the allure of classic space exploration. The Mayflower team resembles the pride of Earth’s first attempts at the moon, while realizing, even if only fiction for now, the aspirations of many who enjoy attempts well beyond our current abilities. If space is “the final frontier,” then stories as great as this adventure are just the first steps to realizing that dream.

The Venus trade paperback is now available in print and digital form.

S.T. Lakata, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor



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