INDIE COMIC-BOOKS

SKYMAN one-shot

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Sergeant Eric Reid may have survived the Skyman Program’s assassins and exposed its corruption, but he’s about to find that wearing the Skyman belt and trying to do the right thing means there will always be a target on his back. Can he take the heat? Or will he burn up in the atmosphere?

Well, I mostly enjoyed the 4-issue Skyman series by Joshua Hal Fialkov and Manuel Garcia from early last year. Although I did say in my review of SKYMAN #4 that it ended abruptly and felt incomplete. It was more like an opening arc to an ongoing series, than a complete miniseries, but unfortunately no ongoing series was promised. Well, last November they Dark Horse released this special one-shot issue, showing a new adventure of Skyman. Miniseries artist Manuel Garcies returns, this time wish Spencer Cushing handling the writing duties.

I begin this issue with somewhat of a disadvantage. As I said before, I hadn’t been reading and never started the ongoing Captain Midnight series, which Skyman is said to have appeared in following the miniseries, so I don’t know what kind of status quo has been established since the events of the miniseries. There are constant references to something called Project: Black Sky, which I know was the name of a crossover that occurred between several ongoing Dark Horse series last summer. Here it appears to be some kind of shadowy government (or quasi-government) agency. The story hear begins with a mysterious dimensional rift opening up in the woods of Canada. In a meeting with Captain Midnight and another character simply referred to Agent Jones, Skyman is tasked with flying to rift to investigate, being warned that Project: Black Sky is likely also on their way to the site, and he needs to figure out what it going on before they do. Skyman flies to the area spots what a appears to be an alien spaceship, goes inside and is greeted by a pretty freaky-looking creature.

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At first, the being attempts to use Skyman’s gravity belt to power it’s ship, which causes Skyman quite a bit of pain, so he breaks off and prepares to fight back. Then a mini-armada of jets, helicopters, predator drones and armed soldiers from Project: Black Sky appear, and the next thing you know Skyman finds himself trying to survive while in the middle of a fire fight between evil soldiers and an angry alien. But he soon learns that everything might not quite be what it seems…

This was an exciting and suspenseful story with lots of action. A little light on characterization, but it’s accessible enough that even if you haven’t read any of Skyman’s previous appearances you should be able to get up to speed and follow along pretty well. I would probably recommend this issue first to new fans, and then if they enjoy it they can go back and get the miniseries for more background. While the story is complete there are a few strands left open that could be explored in further stories with this character, which I would like to see in the future. Manuel Garcia once again does a nice job on the artwork, with a clean style that easy to follow. This comic gets a Chacebook rating of FOUR STARS

available on dark horse digital

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