Advance Review: Discoveries Abound In `John Carpenter’s Tales Of Science Fiction – The Envoy’ #1
by Tom Smithyman
It’s a decent start to this story of rival scientists looking for extraterrestrial life but finding something else. The story is all exposition and not enough action, but that doesn’t stop the creative team from producing some great artwork.
Imagine searching for extraterrestrial life and instead finding the cure for cancer. Oh, and ghosts too.
In John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: The Envoy, two rival scientists vie to talk with ET. There’s Ben, who takes a more paranormal turn using bootstrapped methods. And there’s Steven, who created a multinational company to find aliens. In this story created by John Carpenter and Sandy King, both have found some measure of success.
Steven’s company has come into the possession of a mysterious box that renders cancer cells inert. How he came to find it is a bit of a mystery. Ben’s search for different kinds of life leads him to creating an electrical field in a cemetery in an effort to catch ghosts – or some such creatures.
Writer David J. Schow converts the story into a three-part limited series from Storm King Comics. This initial chapter is all about the mystery and setting up the rivalry between Ben and Steven. Through flashbacks, we see the pair in college challenging each other to make the earth-shaking discovery. While the stakes are not that high – a bottle of champagne goes to the winner – the real prize is pride.
This first issue deals mainly with setting up the story that is to come. The set up wears a bit thin after a while because there is no real action to speak of. Still, we learn that Ben’s wife has died of cancer, which makes Steven’s cure box that much more relevant.
The real hero of the premier issue is artist Andres Esparza. While he doesn’t have a lot to work with, his drawings are well thought out and rendered. Each character is fully realized and detailed – you won’t mistake one for another. Our best hope is that the two scientists discover aliens soon to see what Esparza does with them.
The extended creative team has laid out a decent start with this first issue. By focusing a bit more on the action instead of exposition – and by giving Esparza something exciting to draw – will make a big difference on bringing this series to life.
John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: The Envoy #1 will be available for purchase tomorrow.