Warren Ellis’s and Jason Howard’s Cemetery Beach #1 gives me nostalgia. Even though that effect probably shouldn’t be possible, if you consider my age. It may be because the readers start off with a lovable rogue with a government affiliation to Earth. These characters call it Oldhome, considering we want to be canon about it.

He escapes an interrogation on another planet in a series of typical action-packed explosions, but I’m not one to complain about a nice escape scene. In fact, the action is one of the strongest points of Cemetery Beach #1. There’s a nice set-up for what might happen in the future for both our dissenters.

Image Comics, 2018

By also having a secondary protagonist whose career aspirations are murder, the comic obtains a bit of flair. What could’ve been a by-the-book sci-fi introduction has turned into a narrative with a few more questions that need answering; I would like to have those answers.

Narration As Exposition Is Snore-Worthy, But I’ll Give Cemetery Beach #1 A Tiny Get-Out-Of-Jail Free Pass

You’ll find the structure of this comic starts off with heavy exposition. It’s used to establish the setting, the main character, and terminology in a heavy-handed way. While I do adore the snappy dialogue, the obviousness of the beginning interrogation scene gives me hideous Dejà Vù. This brings me right back to the MCU’s The Avenger’s movie first shot. The difference from this comparison comes from the eventual team-up.

Image Comics, 2018

The savior of it all appears when the secondary protagonist is introduced. Before hatching his escape, our hero knows he needs a guide and he picks up another criminal to do the job. She brings a lot of mystery to the piece and adds to the male protagonist’s personality. They play off each other like old friends.

We don’t understand where her loyalties are going to lie in the future. As a result, we also question the male protagonist’s choices and morality since he’s willing to take the risk. We don’t know if Oldhome is a good or bad society. There’s a lot to be said about the conflict between Oldhome and this colony that hasn’t yet been explicitly stated.

While she agrees to help our escapee and he agrees to help her find a better place to live, there might be a future double-cross in no man’s land.

The Art Makes The Explosions Worth The Read

I dig the extra lines and blotches in Jason Howard’s work. I like the shadowy nature it brings to a beginning based on knowing very little about the world. The writing throws you in and hopes you pick up the fragments of setting. These art choices complement the nature of the story since the characters, villains, and settings are relative unknowns.

The coloring highlights these choices even further since the world they’re attempting to escape seems big and washed-out. When they do use colors, the colors send a noticeable message. For example, there’s an underlying feeling of loss that the past was better because you can see the light when the protagonists’ mentions Earth.

Image Comics, 2018

Lastly, this comic doesn’t need sound bubbles to help with the effects. The artwork enough can handle the magnitude of a gunfight or the pop off of a bomb blast. I can’t find fault with the handling of the visuals. 

Why Picking Up Cemetery Beach #1 Is An Interesting Endeavor

Ultimately, despite feeling familiar, the sequences done in the comic feel well-made. While ‘you’ll have the I’ve seen this before’ emotion, you’ll also have the ‘perhaps there are a few surprises left that’s worth buying the second issue’ emotion as well.

From the looks of the first issue, Cemetery Beach #1 has a lot of potential to be a great piece. I’m a big fan of the set-up for a dystopic world that transcends one place, but instead has two if they manage to get off their original prison. If you’re looking for a copy of Cemetery Beach #1, you can head towards your local comic book shop or pop over to  Image Comics.