Review: Outpost Zero #1

Welcome to Outpost Zero, the smallest town in the universe. The people there work the land, go to the fights every Friday night, and tuck their children into bed-but the Outpost is no place for dreams or aspirations. To survive is ambitious enough. As Alea and her friends graduate to adulthood on a frozen world never meant to support human life, something stirs. Something sees…

Outpost Zero #1 is a prime example of how to world build in such a very short amount of time. Written by Sean Kelley McKeever, the series focuses on a distant town within a bubble on a frozen alien world. We learn of their arrival, tragedy, how it all works, and the characters within quickly and in such a way that’s entertaining and makes you want to come back for more.

What’s interesting is how the threat that’s coming builds. The story, you expect to go one way, but by the end it veers in another direction that’s unexpected. Yes, the comic has a Snowpiercer like vibe about it, but it has more than enough uniqueness that makes it stand out from that modern classic of a series.

But, what McKeever does that’s really impressive is gives us a bunch of characters that feel like they may be as home in Riverdale as they are on an alien world in a dome city. There’s nothing particularly sci-fi about the series in that it feels really normal in a way. An issue in and it all feels natural and that’s a good thing as it creates the focus on the characters and their interactions as opposed to some out there sci-fi plot… but that may be coming.

The art by Alexandre Tefenkgi with color by Jean-Francois Beaulieu is really good with each character being very unique with lots of personality just in their look. But, there’s also subtle body language that tells the reader about what’s going on as much as the dialogue itself. It’s a great example of show, don’t tell. That applies to Outpost Zero itself where we get a sense of what’s happened through all of the detail added throughout, a crack here and there tells us more than some extraneous dialogue.

This might be a story about an alien world where a dome may fail and everyone dies from freezing to death, but it also stars characters who are focused on what’s next in their lives and what their role in society will be… and relationships with each other. As I said, put this in any-town America and the story could work, even the freezing weather aspect. There’s a grounded aspect to it all that makes it stand out as a series I can’t wait to read more of.

Story: Sean Kelley McKeever Art: Alexandre Tefenkgi Color: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review