Imagine a not too distant future. Humanity’s space program continues to advance and the possibility of habitable planets beyond our own grows ever closer to reality, but so does the possibility of alien life. First contact.
What will they be like? And more importantly, will they come in peace?
In Jerry Frissen & Phillippe Scoffoni’s space-themed sci-fi thriller EXO, these questions are answered, when NASA successfully identifies a not-to-distant exoplanet able to accommodate human life, Darwin II, only to have an orbital space station skewered by a projectile shot from space.
As a result NASA scientist John Koenig, the man heading the discovery of Darwin II, quickly finds himself caught up in a globe-spanning pursuit, when an extraterrestrial presence is discovered on Earth, and a plot that could have a cataclysmic effect on the future of the human race is uncovered. Pulled in to the same conspiracy are a group of US soldiers, dispatched to investigate an unknown alien presence on the dark side of the Moon, and a cabal of total strangers, inexplicably brought together by mysterious intervention.
As so kicks off a fast-paced, high-stakes adventure. From California to the Moon, to the uncharted depths of the Atlantic, EXO splashes from scene-to-scene with a cinematic style, each strikingly crisp and emotive panel adding another layer to the mystery, and turning up the notch on the tension. The way EXO briskly flicks between its far-flung perspectives makes for a definite page-turner, weaving together a tightly strung interconnected story that never stops for a breath. My only complaint was that when the climax was finally reached I was left wanting more.
And the technology is cool too, from interstellar spheres that spawn brain-jacking nanobots, to space marines deployed on a lunar expedition in rocket-propelled polyhedrons, EXO feels like the future as it could be. Hard science fiction that’s as much as window into another world as it is a “what if?” on an alien encounter – providing an authenticity and realism to the story that only heightens the immersion.
For fans of science-fiction, especially the hard kind, this is certainly worth a read, but for anyone interested in octane thrills done in striking graphic style, EXO is sure to please.
EXO is out now from Humanoids (£18.99, h/b, 9781594654589)