Roche Limit #1
by Michael Moreci, Vic Malhotra, Jordan Boyd & Ryan Ferrier
Traveling space and space colonies are the way of the future. The ability to not only explore space but to settle their mark a degree of advancement of which many dream. Michael Moreci has teamed up with artist Vic Ferrier to present Roche Limit, a story wherein the development of a colony in space betrays that childlike wonder. Instead of space proving the advancement of humanity, the distance and freedom expose the race for the primal nature that exists internally.
The dwarf planet, Dispater sits outside of a strange energy anomaly that was discovered. Langford Skaargard was determined to settle a colony, known as the Roche Limit Colony on this planet. The story picks up two years into the space experiment, and as the opening monologue informs the reader, it has not gone according to plan. The initial sequence is a very strange one, and it is filled with some harrowing imagery that is presented without context. As Skaargard explains his intentions, readers witness an individual in a space suit be chased, connected to some line and sent off a ship towards something that appears star-like. Moreci has, from the very start, established something very intriguing. Before getting to take a breath, the story jumps to a new character and scene and the main plot takes off.
What follows is the story of Sonya who has come to the dwarf planet in search of her sister. Bekkah has gone missing and it would seem that no one in this colony knows anything of the girl. The story begins to feel a bit like The Fuse, also from Image Comics, during this sequence as it blends the setting in space with a crime story. But Moreci has a lot of dimension to establish this series as its own. As Sonya ventures around the colony she eventually gains the help of a man named Alex Ford who appears to have a history with some questionable groups. And while the A-plot certainly hints at some questionable events that may have taken place here in the past, it is in the story’s B-plot that the book finds its hook. In the final few pages of the first issue, Roche Limit sets in motion something rather unexpected and incredibly exciting. There may be something much more sinister and experimental going on in this new land.
For this new series, Moreci has teamed with Vic Malhotra and Jordan Boyd. Developing a new colony in the middle of space is quite a task, but the world that the artist and colorist have created is interesting. In many ways, the colony is just a slight step from the city setting of Earth. But there are some slight differences amidst these metropolitan scenes. But the visuals at the end are what really strike as the story shifts into an entirely different genre. Malhotra’s character designs and what is communicated by the physicality of the individuals are really well done. With the added, somewhat muted color palette chosen by Jordan Boyd, the story is in great hands.
An incredibly subtle, but fascinating aspect to Roche Limit is the window of history left open. As is explained in the opening monologue, and further in the issue’s back matter, the colony was established two years before this story. What was supposed to be a center for the most intelligent and curious minds became something entirely different. Despite the story moving forward, Moreci has created a very intriguing thread by leaving this hole. Additionally, he touches on a very curious philosophical discussion about human nature. Given the freedom to explore the universe from space itself, human beings found themselves closer to their animal roots than reaching a new level in the advancement of intelligence. Putting these concepts together with the thrust of the major plot elements, Roche Limit #1 is very satisfying.