Saturday, 22 August 2009

The Complete Indigo Prime Review

I'd known about Indigo Prime for quite a while after the trade was first released, and characters Winwood and Cord made an appearance at the end of John Smiths so-so recent 2000ad strip Dead Eyes, but despite being about one of my favorite subjects, parallel universes, I'd not had the chance to pick it up. Until now.

The title 'The Complete Indigo Prime' is a bit of a misnomer, its still missing the text stories and the Future Shock strip that it first appeared in, but we still get the crux of the series, starting with Freelance agents Fervent and Lobe. Be advised, Indigo Prime isn't about parallel universes in the traditional sense that things like Luthor Arkwrite were, Its less about Alternative Realities and more about different planes of existence. In this sense its quite similar to Planescape. The book contains several stories, so we'll look at them one at a time, to examine the whole.

Fervent & Lobe kicks us off, and immediately is a bit difficult to follow to begin with, being mixed with a post adventure stage play taking place in flash forward. While a bit over the place, F&L has an interesting trip to hell and is a humorous story that doesn't outstay its welcome.

Next up we have a one off intro to Indigo Prime proper, not much to say about this story really, other than it helps us understand the characters world a bit better.

The we have Winwood and Cords first outing., another small one with not much to talk about. It is a nice surreal time travel yarn, with Chris Heston's art bringing out the strangeness of the characters.

Following on we have Ferdigo & Brecht's one and only outing. The story is too short to get a feel of the characters, so I can't honestly say weather or not I'd like to see more of them. It is a nice little fable about commercialism however.

Spinning off from F&L we have Almaranda's solo strip. Again, not much to say about this one, the arts nice but it merely feels like an extended Future Shock.

Holiday on Ice brings us Fervent & Lobe's second outing, which is really when the book starts to kick in. The story is a nice grisly and surreal tail, with humour and mystery abound. Quite a few British cultural references pop up, with a deformed and mutilated Alan Bennett being the most disturbing one.

Last but not least is Killing Time, the story that makes the whole book worth it. Killing Time is a nice supernatural time travel mystery thriller. Winwood and Cord get put to good use and we really get a feel for the characters. The story is paced well enough so we get some brooding menace throughout, and wraps it up in a thrilling finale. While the ending might be a bit confusing, everything else in the story is top dollar. The best part is the art, with the Indigo agents being colored differently to everything else as a subtle reminder that they are not quite a normal part of they're environment.

So there you go, while some of the stories are lacking the books worth buying just for Holiday on Ice and Killing Time, and I hope Indigo Prime's recent cameo in 2000ad means we'll be getting more in the future.

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