Thursday, August 27, 2009

Days Missing #1 (of 5)

Phil Hester & Frazer Irving
Days Missing is a new mini-series published by Archaia in association with Roddenberry Productions. The title was created by Trevor Roth, with help developing the story by Phil Hester and Rob Levin. Hester (Firebreather) will be writing the first and final issues of the series (David Hine will be coming on board for issue two), with Frazer Irving on art on the debut issue (Chris Burnham will be illustrating the next issue). The story follows The Steward, an immortal being who has been on Earth since before mankind, and who has helped the planet out of several extinction events, and manipulated many major events without attracting attention to his existence. This series chronicles his adventures.
In the debut issue, The Steward appears as a doctor, assisting a group of scientists in tracking down a vaccine to Swazi Fever, a virus that's similar to Ebola, but is much more dangerous and aggressive. The backdrop of this issue is Africa, of which we see very little, as most of the story takes place between a quarantined lab and an airplane, with a very text-heavy story. The story serves to establish the premise of the book and introduce the main character, who prattles on about his role in humanity at length, reminiscing about his past and relaying the wisdom he's garnered to end the current threat. It's a little tedious to wade through all of this and Frazer Irving's art looks rather stiff when it comes to bio-hazard suits and talking heads. There are some bright spots though, specifically a scene where The Steward thinks back to the extinction event that ended the dinosaurs' reign, with some beautiful scenes featuring the creatures. Days Missing has some potential in its premise, which could certainly offer a wide variety of material to work with, but honestly, The Steward isn't an interesting enough character to carry the title. He's a broad, god-like character and is just plain dull, even in design. The situations readers find him in may end up being interesting, but I don't find myself looking forward to spending any more time with the character involved in those events.

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