If you’re in the mood for something out of this world, then you’ll love Worlds Away #1 by Damien Becton. It’s a promising sci-fi comic with great potential to become big! Why do I think so? Well, it’s simple. Worlds Away is familiar. By this I mean, it employs a similar genre, theme and art style that our inner child adores. Its plot is the perfect balance of romance and extraterrestrial action. All the while, it tackles big adult themes like death, trauma and navigating through relationships.
If you’re an avid comic reader, then you’ll recognize very familiar characteristics in the art styles of superhero comics. They’re semi-realistic with sharper edges and bolder, more captivating colors. Both Christian Prunesti and Marco Del Forno lean towards the Bronze Age hero art style, much like Spiderman: Life Story. While Luna Cristini brilliantly sets the mood with shades of purple, blue, and red – the colors of space.
Diving into its plot, this sci-fi comic explores the life and death struggles of surviving like a fish out of water. Or, in this case, humans in outer space. It centers around Mackenzie, her mom Serenity, and C.A.M – a disembodied AI assistant. We follow them as they set out on a journey to an unknown planet. The story starts with a brief backstory of Serenity and Zyeir – Mackenzie’s parents. Both were brave soldiers who fought aliens on the regular and embarked on the most dangerous missions together. Despite their stark differences, both fell in love and had their life treasure—Mackenzie. But as quickly as happiness arrived is just how quickly it left.
Mackenzie later got sick. As if things couldn’t get any worse, the cure was in the hands of an alien race. Zyeir ended up making the sacrifice by infiltrating the enemy’s base as he secured the cure for their daughter. However, he did not make it out alive. What do we say – life is playful and as humans ourselves, we know this like it’s the back of our hands. In the present, this incident forces them to emergency land on an unknown planet. Here, the group traverses a world of danger and uncertainty—all while dealing with unresolved conflict and trauma. The issue ends with an unexpected battle against a crazy strong, unknown creature they encounter while searching for resources. As expected, the creature overpowers them. However, unbeknownst to it, the knocked-out Mackenzie is about to throw a blow from behind.
The introduction is absolutely brilliant. Thrill rises in every panel and the mood smoothly transitions from romantic to heart-racing. It’s brief but leaves just enough information to provide context and still keep you reading. The characters are also very well-thought of. They don’t feel one note. Instead, they’re very similar to a close friend or relative. This is a sign of excellent character development that allows readers to easily form attachments to them. Furthermore, I love how Becton abolishes any gender stereotypes by giving Serenity the brave and “manly” characteristics, while Zyeir has the soft, feminine features!
Last but not least, the themes are realistic and relatable. After Zyeir’s death, both Mackenzie and her mother have coping issues that don’t match each other’s. Mackenzie – who is as soft-hearted as her late father – can’t understand how her mother has become stone-cold after her father’s death. Whereas Serenity doesn’t know how to communicate her thoughts and feelings well to her daughter. It’s a very common parent-child conflict, often caused by miscommunication.
To sum it up, this comic has immense potential that’s just waiting to get out there. Honestly, what’s left for us is to see whether Becton’s here to feed us something cliché or write out a plot twist we can never get over!