by Michael Moreci, Vic Malhotra and Jordan Boyd
The journey of Roche Limit has been absolutely exciting and unique from the very start. Moreci’s use of space, overlapping storylines and even including transcripts or flashbacks with the colony’s founder has made this new series an incredibly rich read. In the final issue of the opening arc, Moreci covers a lot of ground, and in some ways that hurts the final product.
When the fourth issue of Roche Limit concluded, Bekkah was in jeopardy, Moscow had started a revolt and readers had just learned that the anomaly somehow was separating individuals from their souls. The prospect of this alone was fascinating and it is one of the central issues with the book coming to a close so soon after. As Alex and Sonya struggle to rescue Bekkah and steady the ship as it heads back towards the colony, the book is at odds with itself. On the surface, Moreci has brought a number of plot lines together in a very action and suspense filled finale. However, because the fight to survive and anarchy in the streets take center stage, some of the more interesting elements of the series are pushed aside. Alex and Sonya decide they must leave the planet in order to survive, but they must retrieve Bekkah’s soul from a blood-thirsty Moscow first.
The sequences are well crafted. Vic Malhotra does a good job bringing Moreci’s script to life in this issue as a number of events unfold. Citizens take to the streets, Gracie and Woodbury arm themselves in defense, and the ship comes to a crash landing all in a matter of pages. As the final chapter reaches its climax, Malhotra and colorist Jordan Boyd present readers with a fantastic panel that meets the peak tension and portrays the event quite beautifully. From the depiction of the zombie-like individuals, to the strange imagery of astronauts being hung out in space over a glowing orb, Roche Limit has been intriguing visually as much as it has been in story.
If the entire series had been focused on rescuing Bekkah and escaping the planet, Roche Limit #5 would be a very exciting and satisfying chapter. But, the story teased a number of mysteries, presented characters that appeared to be invested or involved in the story line and crafted it all around an anomaly that seems to be separating individuals from their souls. These are the threads that pushed Roche Limit beyond conventional and made it unique. Never really developing Gracie and Woodbury makes their inclusion a little odd. Further, Moscow as a whole is a very odd character who never quite offers a motivation and yet works against Gracie and Alex, eventually turning on followers of the Black Sun. And finally, creating an anomaly the separates people from their souls feels as though it should have more to offer than an obstacle for Alex and Bekkah and Sonya to fix. It is too interesting and too fascinating a plot thread to keep so simple.
As Roche Limit #5 concludes, the ending is bittersweet. In many ways, the final moments between the leads and the adrenaline induced events of the final surge all deliver. But the lingering questions about these other elements begin to seep back in. It is only as a result of the series having so many great ideas and mysteries that this feeling comes about. It is to the credit of Moreci, Malhotra and Boyd that readers want even more from them. With the knowledge that a new arc lays ahead and a definitive end has already been established, it may be possible that some of these questions get answers in the future.