[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Ida and Kumi are a pair of scavengers and traders who navigate the galaxy in their big, red, and round ship. They’ve had some rough adventures of late, and that resulted in them gaining two new passengers: Riddy, a former convenience store employee, and Nim, a cyborg assassin who recently tried to kill Ida and Kumi in Riddy’s convenience store. The ship is also damaged, and Ida’s having a hard time administering repairs. Thankfully, she gets the idea of uploading a sentient AI system that could help her through repairs. She does so, and the new AI, Gloria, goes about repairing the ships software systems–and just in time for Nim to wake up and get upset about her new living conditions. Unfortunately, Gloria and Kumi accidently set Nim free during repairs, and she isn’t happy. Plus, one of Nim’s old associates is hunting for the ship.
Heartbreak Quadrant: Phase 3 is the third installment of Barrett Stanley’s science fiction and crowd-funded independent comic series. I actually got to read the first two phases at my previous outlet, and they were absolutely phenomenal.
Phase 3 finds Kumi and Ida putting together a misfit crew with Riddy, Gloria, and Nim. Circumstances have conspired to bring these five women together in this manner, and they’re going to need one another to survive and stay sane.
Heartbreak Quadrant is equal parts endearing, fun, and hilarious. Each character has a distinct personality and way of dealing with challenges. The story of a crew of drifting traders making their way through the depths of space makes for an innately interesting story. The fact that an all-powerful intergalactic corporation is hunting them keeps things exciting and ever-changing.
All of this is without even mentioning Barrett Stanley’s wonderful line and color art. The visual design of this sci-fi adventure adds a hint of grounded realism. There is a texturing brought about by the shadowing and color work that makes it look like you could reach out and touch these characters. The colors are balanced so perfectly that the bright shades are allowed to explode off the page. Stanley is a thoroughly talented artist.
All of this is to say, check out Heartbreak Quadrant. The first two phases were incredible, and Phase 3 is no different. The characters are lovable, the story is grabbing, and the art is brilliant.
Final Score: 9.5/10