❉ Bullets fly, spaceships soar, an all-round good time is had by everyone involved.
The back cover of issue zero of Evan Carothers, Jezreel Rojales and Mariam Yasser’s The Ignis Quadrant describes the comic as “good old fashioned sci-fi fun”, categorising the comic further as a space western. The Ignis Quadrant does indeed hit all the acceptable notes in being a space western, a fusion of genres routinely popular within indie comics to craft stories of uncomplicated action that are mostly driven by wise-cracking hyper-male leads. Bullets fly, spaceships soar, an all-round good time is had by everyone involved.
With twelve pages of story to grab the reader with, Carothers delivers a nimble, succinct story of beer-chugging daredevil hero Montana Bones and his crew diving into an alien warzone to retrieve a scientist and his daughter from hostile alien locals. Carothers does himself no favours with a generic protagonist and hokey dialogue to wade through, but there’s enough good-natured energy in the story-telling to make this issue a satisfying read on its own. The elements ultimately fail to lock together in decent unison, unintentionally enabling the comic’s throwaway factors to slip through when they should be kept at arm’s length.
Jezreel Rojales’ line art has a fluid vibrancy about it, with the comic’s straight forward layout of panels allowing room for dynamic angles. Mariam Yassers’ hot, ragged colours illuminate the action scenes accordingly, but also provide a muted, otherworldly atmosphere for the comic’s primary location of an alien planet. Elsewhere, Justin “Lettersquids”’ clean, slick lettering slots well into the energetic vibes the art mostly succeeds in delivering.
The Ignis Quadrant is a comic that takes you for a thrill-seeking quickfire ride, albeit without the danger and menace that it clearly hoped it could inject. You can be dangerous without being innovative or experimental, but The Ignis Quadrant is too preoccupied with bringing a sense of fun to the comic that it eschews being anything else. As a one-off, that’s forgivable, but given that this issue zero leads into a multi-issue arc, The Ignis Quadrant has some way to go in order to sustain continued interest.
❉ Fred McNamara is a contributing writer for a variety of digital and print publications, covering comic books, films, TV and more. His work has appeared on such websites as PopMatters, WhatCulture, Flickering Myth, Grovel, the Official Gerry Anderson Blog, ScreenRelish, and in such publications as Starburst Magazine, Andersonic and Comic Scene. His work has also appeared in anthologies published by Watching Books and Who Dares Publishing.