Advance Review: Old Soldiers Refuse To Fade Away In `August: Purgatory Underground’ #1
by Tom Smithyman
Captain August is back for more adventures, this time traveling to the edge of the galaxy to help some colonists who are in trouble. The issue has a nice story and artwork, but this first issue concludes without a compelling event to force you to pick up the next issue. You probably will want to anyway.
What happens to a war hero after the war ends? How can he remain relevant in a new world that questions the choices he made under the most difficult circumstances?
Those are some of the pressing questions asked in the latest series following the adventures of Abraham August. August, a captain in futuristic federation, was responsible for a major victory, but it came at a high price. A year removed from that battle, society has split on whether August made the right choice. With peace settling upon the federation, the military no longer wants to deal with August and is preparing to force him into retirement.
August has one last mission before he goes: investigate some strange reports from a blackwater planet. When he gets there, though, August finds more than he expected.
Benjamin Morse takes full creative responsibilities for the series – he writes, draws, colors and even letters the four-part series. It’s a significant responsibility and a remarkable achievement. Even more so considering the issue, at 30 pages, is considerably longer than most comic books. After going through several story beats over the course of those pages, though, the first issue ends without much of a cliffhanger. Interested readers will still want to pick up the next issue, but Morse doesn’t give much of a sense of urgency.
Artistically, Morse varies his style from a flashback that look like an animated cartoon, to an exciting space battle and even a car chase, of sorts. It has a classic Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers feel to it, while still keeping modern sensibilities.
With its themes around the tough decisions made during war and what happens when people re-examine those choices, the story is somewhat reminiscent of DC Comics’ recent Strange Adventures miniseries. Hopefully it will be just as compelling.
August: Purgatory Underground #1 will be available for purchase on August 24, 2022.