Advance Review: Roche Limit #1 From Image, Plus Preview

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Billionaire Langford Skaargard's dream of cosmic exploration is no more and Roche Limit, a colony situated on the cusp of a mysterious energy anomaly, has become a melting pot of crime and terrible secrets. When Bekkah Hudson goes missing, the search to find her will plunge her sister and a cadre of the colony's underworld figures into an odyssey that reveals a grim future for mankind.

I was immediately attracted to the Roche Limit series from Image Comics when I saw its stunning cover in the original round of PR movement for the book.  Written by Michael Moreci, drawn by Vic Malhotra, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by Ryan Ferrier, and designed by Tim Daniel, the book is very ambitious, both in its structure and its blending of different genres (part sci-fi, noir, and mystery, among others I'm sure we'll soon see).

Ultimately the Roche Limit series is going to be comprised of a number of arcs, each taking place on the Roche Limit space colony, but each at a different time with separate characters, all of which ultimately coalesce into a much larger supra-story.

See. Ambitious.

The first issue is a strong introduction to a complex series, and is itself a complex story that benefits from a second and third reading.  Moreci and Malhotra do a good job tossing you straight into the story after providing only minimal background.  Slowly you start to get a picture what's happening, but the creators don't  beat you over the head with too much exposition (like a lot of sci-fi) or too much moody inner-dialogue (like a lot of noir).

The story is many different things at once, which I think will ultimately be its biggest strength and appeal.  That's what makes me want to come back and read issue #2 – to find out more about what the hell is happening, because it could literally go in almost any direction.  The first issue gives you an enticing glimpse into a strange and confusing world while giving the plot enough heat so things really start to bubble by the final page.

It's a successful first issue, and though it may seem at times like the creative team is finding their collective stride – a little like a first dance – it's still damn good work that is successful in both its form and execution.  The issue opens up a lot of doors into a strange and dark world, but only gives you just enough of a peak to want to know more, like all great serialized mysteries.  I'm calling it here that this is a book that will generate more and more buzz as it moves forward into later issues.

All in all, I really enjoyed the first issue of Roche Limit.  As I said before, its greatest strength is that it's set itself up in such a way that it could go in any number of different directions, all of which look unfamiliar and innovative, and all of which I'll be happy to explore.

Final Rating: 7.5

Check out this preview of Issue #1:

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David Dissanayake is a San Francisco Correspondent at Bleeding Cool.  Give him a shout on Twitter @dwdissanayake or come say hello to him at Mission: Comics & Art in San Francisco.

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