WRITER Bob Salley
ARTIST George Acevedo
Salvagers Volume one brings together the first 4 issues of this classic feeling sci-fi saga.
Successful enough that the first 4 issues collected into the Volume 1 trade have already frustratingly sold out! (Never fear, they assure me that it is returning very soon, along with the release of #5 kickstarter!)
So what makes this Sci-Fi Space mercenary saga so compelling?
Any fan of late 1970s to early 90s space adventures will instantly recognise the feel of the surroundings depicted beautifully by the art team. It is expansive, detailed yet also somehow sparse and industrial. There is a strong feeling of Ridley Scott’s Alien films in style, and a huge splash of Star Wars.
The artwork is no less detailed in the expanses of space where simple but effective ship designs sell the solidity of this universe.
The characters are all slowly introduced, with equally simple but effective design. It takes all four issues in the volume to really get to know the crew of the salvage ship – they have all the tropes you would expect from a good comic book space crew, humans, aliens… the roguish engineer, the grumpy muscle, the alien babe pilot and of course the highly trained captain fallen from grace. But, they unfold to be so much more as you read on.
The tale begins aboard a salvaged ship, where things begin to go wrong quickly. Losing contact with the main ship, unexpected items in the baggage area. (Nasty killer robots!)
The fight sequences are a good mix of action and dialogue, and quite beautifully tailored to each crew member’s fighting style. Grumpy muscle smashes, cheeky engineer waits for his opportune moments and the captain delivers a clever monologue of tactics as he faces his foes.
The second issue collected cuts back in time to before the mission was even accepted. At first I found the shift in timeline a bit confusing and pointless, but with an afterthought it works very well, not only as an introduction to the background of the engineer – but for showing his home world, a Blade Runner like city with a strong vibe of corruption. It gives more depth to the reasons they are on this mission (you will have to read it to find out what) and shows a strong sense of loyalty in the Captain to his crew members. Had they begun with this, it would have set the engineer as a main protagonist, which I believe they wished to avoid going by the equal air time they give to the full crew.
There is enough drama and action to keep any sci fi fan interested – and although there are a few panels where perspective on people goes a bit askew or poses look stilted, the artwork is over all very attractive and the dialogue flows naturally.
As a gal that grew up watching Star Trek, Aliens, Battlestar Galactica and anything else space adventure related, this did not fail to please. With glimpses on strange worlds of even more alien creatures, beautifully rendered surroundings and well balanced pace – this comic could easily continue to captivate.
I just hope we get a little more background on Mr. Grumpy and hot alien babe pilot soon, because they have a lot of potential still not quite as well tapped as Captain and little green Han Solo have been so far!
I am looking forward to the release of #5 – and if it has piqued your interest, you can find them in the following places!
Get a hold of them on Twitter,
and visit the #5 kickstarter at www.kickstarter.com/projects/535592388/salvagers-5-the-wreck-raiders