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HERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.theotherbluth recommends the inconspicuous… Nameless #2 The first issue was awesome, full of mystery and intrigue. I’m even more excited now that we get to explore this insane world Morrison and Burnham are creating
I have been really enjoying the first three issues of Cluster. If Ed Brisson’s name is on the cover with writing credits you can be sure that there is an imaginative story inside. With books like Comeback, Sheltered and The Field he is able to take a common tale and put his own unique spin on it to change that common tale into something much more. This is what he has done with Cluster. The idea is basically Avatar. A war between humans and alien species for the use of the resources on an alien planet. However Brisson does not just rely on this story line to be enough, he builds a world where all this makes sense. He builds a world where it is believable we have to fight this war. He builds a world that could be our future.
Issue three begins with Samara and her team who have just been captured by some rogue M.I.D. soldiers. This issue is the part of the story where the rogue soldiers explain to the prisoners that the war they are fighting was not provoked by the alien species. The aliens have lived on this planet long before the humans arrived and stared terraforming. The soldiers are killing the species off and destroying their world so that we can eventually live on that planet. The destruction of our own planet has lead us to war for the resources of another.
Samara is the daughter of a Senator and therefore should not even be out fighting the alien war. He could pull strings and get her out of there but she refused, she wanted to do her time. She drove while she was drunk and ended up in a crash that killed her sister. She feels deserving of the punishment. We have not seen much of Samara’s father in this series but we get a flashback scene of Samara being released from her initial holding cell after the accident and her mom and dad are there waiting. Her dad simply says, “How could you? You killed your sister” Now if that doesn’t make you want to get shipped off to an alien planet to fight a war, then I don’t know what would.
This issue is excellent. The revealing of the corrupt military, a heartbreaking father-daughter moment, a battle where a loved character dies and a double cross. What more could you ask for?
I met Cluster co-creator Ed Brisson at New York Comic Con in 2013 when he was just transitioning from primarily doing lettering into comics writing. My brother in law noticed how much of his self published work was crime to which Brisson explained that there really wasn’t a market for that in modern comics. Right or wrong, I’ve seen his work through the prism of a crime writer adapting to the comics audience ever since then. This isn’t to call him a sell out or act like there is anything wrong with it because he’s not and there isn’t. Comics are a career and everybody want’s as many people to enjoy their work as is possible. So I’ve often approached his work feeling as if it was the writer retrofitting his crime stories to appeal to a wider base of comics reader and with that his work has evolved into a singular aesthetic that mixes high level science fiction with the crime and sociological idea’s that was central to his earlier work (or in the case of Sheltered start with the illusion of science fiction before going full on rural crime) In Cluster, Brisson appears to be going full science fiction in writing a comics about prisoners that get sent to a distant planet to fight aliens but he still manages to establish the human element of crime fiction that has made the genre a staple of popular culture. Cluster #1 is both an introduction to a space epic as well as a story that feels personal and character centric in equal measure. It’s cast is eclectic and engaging from the moment they are introduced and as is the case with most Brisson books, it’s plot is driven by a genius concept that establishes the stories engine and urgency. Damien Couciero is pretty straight laced in his illustrations but it works here and doesn’t take anything away from the story. Cluster is another cool idea from Brisson that works because of the writer’s strong character work and while the idea is big it’s the subtlety with which it’s executed that is the books greatest strength.