Review by Richard Williams
Title: Savant Issue #1
Published by: Planet Jimbot
Author: Jim Alexander
Artist: Will Pickering
Colourist: Fin Cramb
Savant is a science-fiction comic series following the exploits of Lode, a woman from the eponymous planet Savant, who embarks on her walkabout around the galaxy (as is customary for many of her people) to gather ‘life’ experiences. Unlike your average gap year, however, the life experiences don’t involve getting drunk in strange places and hoping your parents never work out what really really happened whilst you were away. Instead Lode gathers the memories of others’ via a telepathic link, ‘downloading’ the life experiences of the dying, in order that their memories may be preserved.
As science fiction concepts go it’s not exactly new but it is well told and I found myself getting through this first edition very quickly. This was helped in no small part by the artwork. Will Pickering clearly knows his way around a pencil and I found the designs for clothing, weapons and machinery to be on a par with work I’ve seen in the Dark Horse Comics’ Aliens series from several years back.
The overall premise isn’t the only decent bit of sci-fi to be found in these pages, however, as I was pleasantly surprised to find concepts and ideas that I’ve not seen anywhere else (the nanite mine being a particularly horrific weapon) mingled with the more ubiquitous staples of the genre.
The dialogue is well handled and the pacing is neither too fast nor too slow. There is also a competent, and not at all cheesy, stab at depth and reflection in Lode’s personal musings which give the story a more convincing tone for the generally bleak environment being portrayed.
All of which combined into a very satisfying read and one I have no trouble recommending to others.