The Last Fleet Corsair #4: High On Detail, Low On Personality

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The Corsair continues its course towards the Ravana star system and its prison space station. Tensions rise between the Alliance and Syndicate members, and their leaders must work out a way to succeed in this operation and prevent their crews from killing one another.

Meanwhile, the Syndicate assault of the planet Kane reaches its climax, as the occupants work out a plan to ward off their assailants.

The Lost Fleet Corsair #4 cover by Andre Siregar and Sebastian Cheng
The Lost Fleet Corsair #4 cover by Andre Siregar and Sebastian Cheng

The best word describe Lost Fleet Corsair #4 is technical. Every detail of the science, society, and warfare is concretely established by the comic. To the comic's credit, this detail doesn't turn into a monsoon of exposition and technical specs as one might suppose. This does make for an interesting universe that could be very absorbing.

Unfortunately, there's nothing to said universe beyond the tabletop gaming-esque establishment of rules. The characters are quite bland and stock. The Alliance captain is altruistic, simple, and very by-the-book. The Syndicate CEO is cynical and scheming. The Syndicate troops want assurances. The Alliance troops want…beer.

Even the names "Alliance" and "Syndicate" are broad and bland. I'm not saying the names "Galactic Empire," "Rebel Alliance," or "Starfleet" are the height of creativity, but you can at least name the franchises I'm referencing with those.

The militaristic obsession with detail and battle plans do result in a couple of moments that feel a bit goofy in how they seem to lack common sense. Captain Geary is trying to understand his uncle Black Jack's battle tactics and is shocked to realize they change with the battle, showing adaptability on Black Jack's part. Adaptability seems like a fairly obvious concept to the captain of a warship.

There are also moments when the adherence to the rules kill the pacing, such as when the Corsair approaches the prison station and the comic throws out that it will be 41 hours before the ship arrives. This makes technical sense from the standpoint of the theoretical realities of lightspeed travel, but it also kills the tension. It is used as a segway for the Kane plot, but you don't need an in-narrative reason to change plots. You just need an appropriate moment in the narrative flow to hop over and see what the other people are doing.

The Lost Fleet Corsair #4 art by Andre Siregar, Bambang Irawan, and Sebastian Cheng
The Lost Fleet Corsair #4 art by Andre Siregar, Bambang Irawan, and Sebastian Cheng

Andre Siregar's artwork is stellar though. It's a pseud-realistic style with a lot of depth of field and detail. It does have moments in the uncanny valley, especially with the bizarrely-placed mouths in some panels. However, it's overall great work with some cosmic coloring provided by Sebastian Cheng.

Unfortunately, Lost Fleet Corsair #4 fails to deliver a compelling story. Its meticulous adherence to its own rules appeals to the sci-fi and tabletop geek in me, but its flat characters and narrative missteps turn me off from the story. This one doesn't get a recommendation. Give it a pass.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.