Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Released: November 8th 2017
I received a copy of World Reader from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
World Reader is a new series from Aftershock Comics, and is the brain child of Jeff Loveness (Groot, Nova, Jimmy Kimmel Show) and Juan Doe (Animosity: The Rise, Iron Man: Legacy). It is a wonderful blend of stunning artwork and a different sort of space exploration story than we’ve typically been told. I originally picked World Reader up because of the artwork on the cover; it immediately caught my eye and made me want to know more about what was going on inside.
If you’re anything like me, you love space exploration stories, but sometimes get tired of hearing the same old story again and again, with only slight variations thrown into the mix. That isn’t World Reader. It’s so different from everything else I’ve read. The main character, Sarah, isn’t a typical astronaut, in fact the only reason she got assigned to go on this mission in the first because is because she can talk to ghosts. Yes, you did in fact read that correctly. Sarah can read the memories of the ghosts around her, and somebody on the space program decided that made Sarah vital to the mission.
As it turns out though, that higher up wasn’t far off. Every planet Sarah and her team have gone to has been dead. Or more accurately, the aliens on it are now dead. Sarah takes it upon herself to discover the cause, even when her team lead goes out of his way to try and stop her. The whole set up is vastly intriguing – how did Sarah get this ability set? Why are all the aliens dead? Is Earth next? Why is her commander trying to stop her? These are some of the questions circling in my head while reading (which I did in one sitting, it was so good).
I won’t give away the ending, that’s for you to read, but I will say that I think the series was strongest during its buildup phase. I do think it got a little bit ahead of itself; I would have loved to have seen the first volume stretched out into two, maybe even three, full volumes instead of just the one (though I do hope they continue the series). The ending didn’t give me the same level of satisfaction that the mystery being unraveled did, though I liked that part enough where I’m actually okay with it, in an odd way.
I seriously can’t get over how stunning the artwork in World Reader is. I’m just going to say it; Juan Doe is a genius, plain and simple. The artwork was just so evocative – you could see the ghosts hurting, and how Sarah’s emotions bled out onto her face will just gut you at times. The whole thing was wonderfully done, and supported the plot amazingly well (I honestly think I wouldn’t have liked the plot as much as I did had another artist been teamed with Loveness).
I sincerely hope Loveness and Doe continue working on this project together, and if not I hope they start another one together. The work they put out as a team is outstanding, and it’d be a shame for them to waste that. I hope to see more from them in the future!