JUST JOSHING: Red Atlantis
I should just openly confess my love for Stephanie Phillips’ writing right now. I’m not sure I’m biased anymore. I think secretly she is a thriller/mystery writer that adds layers of character to her craft. I believe that comics are her cover. I’m reviewing one of her other books with one of my favorite artists in about a month, but I wanted to talk about a series I enjoyed from start to finish.
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Illustrated by Robert Carey
Colored by Rosh
Lettered by Troy Peteri
Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Story by Janosh Neumann, Victorya Neumann, and Nicholas Leeds
The book opens with a lot of strange attacks. People seemed to be turned into zombies of some kind attacking people around them. From there, you go to an apartment where Miriam Parker and her roommate Em are just being friends when you see Miriam’s eyes roll to the back of her head like the attackers. The only difference is, she doesn’t attack anyone, and besides seeming to re-enact what seemed like a scene from the exorcist, she’s fine.
Things escalate quickly from there, as secret service agents somehow are taking interest in Miriam. Before things really bubble over a stranger takes out the agents and addresses Miriam as Miriam Pascal, and that he is here to protect her.
Issue two opens up with another scene with a man who very much resembles an evil Professor X using what appears to be telepathy to kill agents and catch bullets with his mind. While that happens, the issues transitions back to Miriam with learning more about that protector, who turns out to be her godfather, Alexander Nitkin. A lot of backstory about her parents and where she comes from is mentioned here.
It turns out her parents were scientists who tried to stop experiments that happened in Russia, and they got killed for it. That information is coming out to bite them. Not quite buying it, Miriam turns herself into the agents that were after her, and before you know it, the two agents meet that man that caught bullets with his brain and commanded agents to commit suicide.
This seems bad until those agents try to shoot Miriam and Alexander, and right then and there, you realize that Miriam can also catch bullets with her mind.
This was a masterstroke in expectations. Stephanie gave us everything we needed to put the pieces together and when the reveal happened, it was masterful. Issues one and two are incredible storytelling. From there the remaining issues of the series pick up on both the action and the drama. It turns out more of Miriam’s family is behind this than expected, and the story moves at a great pace. If I had one criticism, it’s the landing at the end. I feel the last issue is a touch rushed with the ending as the fates of all these characters are dangling threads. Will there be a sequel of some kind? Who knows? There is room for that here.
Beyond Stephanie’s achievements, Robert Carey draws a fun thriller book. His style is a little dirtier than a standard comic. There’s a lot of black ops and espionage in the story being told, and the art is perfect. One of the reasons the reveal worked so well is the character design of Miriam. She looks quite innocent until you realize she’s more than she appears. Nice stuff. I also need to mention Rosh did a perfect job with the colors, adding to the murky feeling and tone this book creates.
This is a fun miniseries and would be a worthwhile trade for anyone to read. I cannot recommend it enough.
Wow. I did six hundred episodes of Just Joshing. It’s been an incredible ride getting up to this point. I’ve had the immense pleasure of interviewing some of the best people ever. I wanted to take a moment and thank each guest, listener, and viewer of my show. I couldn’t have gotten here if I wanted to. You can watch my show here at 7 pm EST most weeknights and can listen to it below. Take a listen. I hope you like it.
Alice Zero is an award-nominated and Alice Won? Is coming November first. If you want a great mashup of Alice in Wonderland and Greek mythology, click here to buy it. Leave a review if you’re so inclined.
Alright guys, next week I review vampires. Until then, stay inspired and keep on shining out there.