When I first heard about the Chapterhouse comic, Fallen Suns, I was expecting a sci-fi story along the vein of The Fourth Planet, also from Chapterhouse. Even after seeing the cover image I failed to put two and two together and realize this was not a creator-owner, stand-alone space epic. Fallen Suns is smack dab right in the middle of the Chapterverse crossing over with Captain Canuck, Agents of PACT and the other interconnected books that comprise the Chapterverse. This universe building is fantastic and is also being done in such a way that you don’t have to read the other books. Fallen Suns can be fully enjoyed on its own with plenty of editorial notes to bring the reader up to speed.
As we know from Captain Canuck, Pharos came to Earth and created the devastation expected from a hostile alien encounter. If it wasn’t for Equilibrium, the organization headed by Micheal Evans and Michael’s brother, Captain Canuck, the death and destruction would have been worse. But Pharos brought with him a message. The Borealis are coming. A dominating alien species intent on ruling the universe. As this issue opens, Pharos is sitting in a specialized detention cell awaiting execution. Equilibrium’s Parminder Patel arrives to question Pharos and the story he tells fills in his backstory.
While the book can be read without any other knowledge of Captain Canuck’s Chapterverse exploits I do think it suffers a bit having taken place after the events of the Season 1 Agents of PACT four issue arc and the Captain Canuck Season 3 four-issue arc, both of which have run into delays and are not yet finished. Van Jensen’s writing is great, giving the alien Pharos a depth of character that we haven’t seen yet. He is more than just a brutish alien smashing things. Told in two parts, the scenes in the detention cell with Patel are happening in real-time while the flashback sequences are where Pharos’ tale has really revealed. The art is also divided up with Neil Collyer providing the current scenes and Leila Del Duca providing the art for the flashbacks. This really works well providing a contrast between Earth and Pharos’ world while the colours by Caroline Nolasco ties it all together. Andrew Thomas’ lettering is spot on without going too heavy with difficult-to-read alien language gimmicks.
Starting in January 2018, Chapterhouse is embarking on a new initiative where all Chapterverse comic books will be $1.99 per month. And while this issue sneaks in at full price I wouldn’t let that deter you from picking up what looks to be a great series. As always, Chapterhouse books are available through Diamond and your Local Comic Shop and should be on Comixology shortly. You can always pickup missed back issues at https://www.chapterhouse.ca.
Issue: Fallen Suns #1 | Publisher: Chapterhouse Publishing
Writer: Van Jensen | Artists: Neil Collyer, Leila Del Duca and Caroline Nolasco
Letters: Andrew Thomas | Editor: Aaron Feldman
Price: $3.99 – 24 pages