Advance Review: Truth is in the Eye of the Beholder in `Fictionauts’ #1

by Tom Smithyman


What is fiction, and it is it more important than the truth? Those are the heady questions posed by Fictionauts, an intriguing story where fiction is clearly more than meets the eye.


Imagine Moby Dick concluding with Ahab killing the whale, or MacBeth having a happy ending or an episode of The Twilight Zone without a twist. How would changes like those affect our individual and collective belief systems and even our physical health?

The nature of fiction and its importance to our everyday lives are at the heart of Fictionauts, a new limited series from publisher Red 5 Comics.

In the premiere issue, we’re introduced to the notion that so much new fiction is being created that it is somehow disrupting the existing fiction that we know and love. A team of Fictionauts is send in to correct these false fictions, for example, stopping Ahab from burying his harpoon in the whale’s brain.

We’re introduced to the Fictionauts team members, pulled right out of the 1930’s and 40’s Flash Gordon serials. Dalan Valley is the man who is too brave. His beautiful girlfriend Zool Stone (think Dale Arden), Professor Emerio Standford (think Dr. Hans Zharkov) and Jack, an escapee from a Dickens story who doesn’t exist in our world.

Artist Leandro Rizzo furthers the feel with costumes straight out of those serials and the comic strips. While most of Rizzo’s art is an acquired taste, his rich backgrounds casually showcase the fictional delights of Jules Verne’s Nautilus, George Melies’ moon (complete with the spaceship buried in one eye) and even the robot from Lost in Space. Writer Mauro Mantella employs the appropriate technobabble to match (electro mnemonic pulse anyone?).

Fictionauts asks the question “Is fiction more important that reality?” While this first issue doesn’t yet answer the question, it does give us reason to doubt at least some of our heroes’ story. Hopefully Mantella will round out the tale in the next two issues and give us his perspective on the nature – and the importance – of fiction and reality.

Fictionauts #1 will be available for purchase on February 16, 2022.

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