Rating if the Book Were a Movie: R
Writer: Peter Taylor
Artist: Peter Taylor
Colors: Falk Hansel
Letters: Peter Taylor
Cover: Peter Taylor
Publisher: Pottyville Books
Story: 3.5 Stars
Artwork: 3.5 Stars
Cover Artwork: 3.5 Stars
Dialogue: 3.4 Stars
Mechanics: 3.6 Stars
Editing: 3.4 Stars
About the Book:
Pioneers: Blood & Stars #1 takes us to the year 2144 where anything is possible. Humans have established a colony on the Saturn moon Enceladus. As glorious as it sounds, this isn’t mankind going forth, exploring, and prospering. This is a corporation turning the moon into a mining colony for profit. The vast majority of the inhabitants of Enceladus work for the long grueling shifts for the corporation.
Our story begins with a shuttle taking some of the moon’s newest residents to the celestial object they’re going to be calling home. We get to know a couple of the passengers, Beagan and Lilu. Beagan is a sweet girl. She’s also the person you hate to be stuck sitting next to on a long trip because she never shuts up. Lilu is running away from something. That’s why she’s going to the furthest reaches of the inhabited solar system. Will that be far enough?
Mr. Taylor’s forward at the beginning of Pioneers: Blood & Stars #1 is so spot on. Governments are no longer sponsoring space exploration. Their citizens ask what’s in it for them. While knowledge is a wonderful answer, most governments in the world have cut back their space programs due to the cost. Instead the money that was allocated in the budget for the space program gets reallocated to the legal defense fund of certain politicians, or building more schools with bullet resistant glass for the next time some nut job decides to take their troubles out on some unsuspecting children.
The truth is, science and exploration have been treated like businesses by governments for centuries. Governments want a profit margin. We all learned how Christopher Columbus “discovered” America in 1492. That wasn’t exploration. That was trying to find the shortest route to India to create a trading route for tea and other spices. This is why native Americans were called “Indians”. Columbus and the other explorers that followed believed that they had found India.
We’re beginning to see this on a smaller scale. Some businessmen have already sent themselves into space, just to see if they could. With those preliminary tests being successful it’s clear that the race is on. Corporations will be chomping at the bit to pull out all of the stops in the name of making a buck. Especially if they can generate a revenue stream off world. I would love to see a universe that looks like the one Gene Roddenberry envisioned. Unfortunately, the one Peter Taylor has presented us with seems much more likely to come to fruition.
There’s always a catch, though. The kind of trouble Lilu is involved with is the kind that could destroy a mining colony. That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Call me jaded, or insensitive. After viewing the way people around the world view dangers and pandemics, we don’t deserve to survive. In every movie in the Alien franchise someone gets the notion to screw with something they don’t understand and by the grace of god humanity is lucky enough to endure.
It’s the same thing with pandemic movies. Someone stupidly breaks quarantine and endangers humanity because of “reasons”. It’s easy to say that these sorts of things only happen in movies to move the plot along. After seeing the way people acted during the pandemic, I say again, humanity does not deserve to survive. Lilu may be just the person to ensure that it plays out that way.
I like how this cover is done. It has great lines. The coloring makes the characters jump off of the page. The pink highlights in Beagan’s hair, Lilu’s primal scream… The artwork generates curiosity and intrigue. That is exactly what a creator wants and needs in the first issue of a new title.
I enjoyed Taylor’s artwork on the interior pages. Watching the characters go through a range of emotions from bored to furious as well as activities from sitting on the couch to rushing to avoid a cave in… I don’t think much was left untouched.
I love how Mr.Taylor developed Beagan in the story. She is my favorite character, so far. She’s so relatable. She is sweet; but also annoying as all get out. I work with someone like that in my 9-5. They never shut up. I don’t dislike them. In fact, they’re one of the nicest people I know. It doesn’t mean I don’t have fantasies about crushing their larynx with my boot in the name of getting five minutes of peace and quiet. See? We don’t deserve to survive. Myself included.
As a geek on a budget I am all in on Pioneers: Blood & Stars #1. It has a fascinating, yet eerily plausible premise. It has terrific artwork. It has characters that are very relatable. It has a great foundation that leaves me very eager to see where the story goes next!
You can get your copy of Pioneers: Blood & Stars #1 at: https://www.Pottyville.co.uk