Brazilian artist and writer Leo (Luiz Eduardo de Oliveira) continues his Worlds of Aldebaran saga with Antares Episode 4, the continuation of the third series of his incredibly alien tales of 22nd century interplanetary settlers and the beasts and plants they find on the worlds that they settle.
While the main expedition to Antares 5, a mixture of scientists and members of an extremist religion, have set up their settlement, the survivors of a shuttle crash and their rescuers are slowly making their months long journey back to the main settlement in a tracked truck through hostile territory. In the meantime animals and people have been disappearing from Antares 5, their bodies being peeled apart before they disappear into thin air. When this happens in front of the truck party to Kim Keller’s young daughter Lynn, Kim believes that Lynn is not dead but has been transported to the neighbouring planet Antares 4 making her even more determined to return to the settlement where she can use a shuttle to fly to the other world to find her. However the group of survivors on the truck must get back to the settlement first.
Leo’s style is to tell his ongoing stories over five French albums and it has to be said that Antares is beginning to drag a little as the truck winds its dangerous but now somewhat weary way back to the settlement. While this has given Leo time to build the characterisation of his survivor group, by the beginning of this episode as a reader I just wanted him to get on with the story which he eventually does.
Yet in bringing Kim and co back to the now established settlement, Leo moves his small group from an isolated truck in the wilderness to an isolated room in the settlement and the action that takes place around them, as intriguing and interesting as it is with its theme of religious zealotry, mainly takes place off-panel leaving the reader as uninvolved in it as the locked up survivors are. Assuming that Antares will run to five albums as its predecessors did, it also leaves a lot of potential plot to get through in a single book to resolve the various threads of the saga. It is worth pointing out that Antares Episode 5 has only just been published in France and so it is not yet on Cinebook’s public publishing schedule meaning that we as readers will have to wait to 2014 for the resolution.
As with its predecessors, Antares Episode 4 is part of a bigger tale and while in itself it is somewhat uninvolving it makes me no less eager to read the next episode in the series to hopefully discover exactly what has been going on over the last four books.
There are more details of the Worlds Of Aldebaran series, Aldebaran, Betelgeuse and Antares on the Cinebook website.
There are more details of all Leo’s books on The Worlds Of Aldebaran website (in French).
The downthetubes review of Antares Episode 1 is here.
The downthetubes review of Antares Episode 2 is here.
The downthetubes review of Antares Episode 3 is here.
Cinebook will be attending the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal over the weekend of 19 and 20 October 2013 and they can be found in the Bindloss Room on the ground floor of the Comics Clock Tower.