(Unlikely Heroes Studios, creative team: John Pence, Erwin J. Arroza)
This is an odd little number: a spaceman crash lands on prehistoric earth and somehow is capable of "hunter's speech," a lingua franca shared between animals and "tall-apes," the ice age humans of the era. After being nursed back to health by a hunter, drifted from his tribe, the spaceman learns what "wolves" are, makes friends, marvels at craftsmanship and reveals some of his fantastic powers. The pacing on this science fiction fantasy may be a touch slower than the story needed, and the flat color palette might not entrance some, but there's a clever story here, even being mostly set up. Arroza's artwork is clever, capturing quick cut surprises as well as thoughtful instances. Pence does a great job of characterization with all the relevant parties. If this had a bit less set up and a bit more of the "marvels" promised, it would have made the jump. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Up from the Skies #1
A trippy, dreamy survival tale and interstellar bromance between a spacefaring prince and the ice-age hunter who rescues him.
In the process of nursing the crashed visitor back to health, the hunter is surprised to find that they both speak the "hunters' speech," allowing them to communicate with each other and with the animals of the plains.
As he works to keep the alien visitor alive, the hunter begins to realize that there is something exceptional about their time together, something sung about by his clan's wise man, but something that still remains … incomplete.
Facing brutish predators and sly, plotting wolves, their bond grows stronger – but how can it last when their destinies are surely so different?