At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union – determined to win the Space Race at any cost – green lit a dangerously advanced mission. They sent a man farther into the cosmos than anyone has gone before or since. Lost in the stars, he encountered something unknown. Something that…changed him. Long thought lost and erased from the history books, he has suddenly returned, crash-landing in the Australian Outback. The few that have been able to reach him believe him to be a deity – one who turned the scorched desert into a lush oasis. They say he can bend matter, space, and even time to his will. Earth is about to meet a new god. And he’s a communist.
I was sold on this just based on that promo copy. And then I saw some preview art that revealed the lead character is also Black! A Black man arriving on Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men? Count me in! And the fact that it was being illustrated by Trevor Hairsine, whose artwork I loved on CLASSWAR just made me even more interested.
Written by Matt Kindt, through flashbacks this issue tells us the life story of Abram Adams, a Black man found abandoned as a baby in Soviet Russia in 1945. He was raised as a perfect and devout communist by the government, who saw an opportunity to raise him as a symbol of Russian superiority over America in regards to race relations. Therefor he was given a first-rate education and upbringing. As he showed an early aptitude for science, he was eventually selected for a top-secret Russian space program to send a man on a 30-year mission to the edge of the Milky Way galaxy. Abram accepts the mission and is given rigorous training to put him in peak physical conditioning prior to the launch. He is also heavily monitored for any signs of stress or mental instability, but he appears to be the totally dedicated to his mission.
There is one chink shown in his armor. He was selected primarily due to his lack of family connections, but unbeknownst to his government handlers he did have a secret relationship with a woman named Eva, we see him sneak away to see her and saw goodbye for the last time. It’s a touching and emotional scene, and is therefor clear that this plot point will be re-introduced later in the series. We see Abram been launched in his rocket. What exactly happens to him next is unknown. There are wordless panels of him on an an apparent alien world, speaking to extraterrestrials. Whether that is real or a dream (he is told that he’ll be put in cryogenic rem-sleep for large portions of his trip) is still unclear at this stage. But jumping to the modern day, he is back, landed in Austrialia, and is now immensely powerful.
He seems to have complete mastery of matter, we see him creating gardens in a desert and transforming men (soldiers who are watching him) into other beings (one man becomes a large bird, another becomes a flock of butterflies). It’s intense imagery and ends with a suspenseful cliffhanger. I am very excited to see where this series goes from here. Chacebook rating: FIVE STARS