Graphic Novels for the Uninitiated - Sci-Fi
As we wait for the seventh Star Wars film, bookseller Asa Wheatley runs through some great science fiction comics in the third instalment of our 'Uninitiated' series.
With the seventh Star Wars film taking over the month of December for many of us, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to take a look at some of the best science fiction graphic novels the comics world has to offer. There are so many great science fiction comics out right now but here are a few that are perfect for those who just wanted to dip their toe in before they dive head first into their own space odyssey.
Saga is a tale of two opposing soldiers who fall in love in the middle of a galactic war. With their new born in tow, they go on the run striving to stay alive and hidden from both sides. It is also so much more than that. It’s a heart-warming, tear-inducing, action-packed and beautifully realised story of family and what you would do to protect your own. Saga is incredibly accessible to everyone - from the hard sci-fi nut to those picking up their first foray into the genre.
East of West
In this post-apocalyptic America, where the civil war never ended, the country is now divided into ‘The Seven Nations of America’ with vast desert wasteland between them. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse roam the wasteland but Death has abandoned his brethren, Famine, Conquest and War and rides with two new companions in search of revenge. Mixing spaghetti westerns and sci-fi thrillers, East of West is a brilliant book that any self-respecting reader should not miss.
In a world where androids have been outlawed, and bounty hunters scour the galaxy for them, young robot boy TIM-21 and his friends must stay hidden to keep safe. Descender is a story about what it means to be human in a world where humanity is actively committing genocide. Lemire and Nguyen have created a relatable and interesting character in TIM-21, in this space opera sci-fi epic. Lemire’s smart writing, alongside Nguyen’s gorgeous watercolour art gives a fresh feel to an old-fashioned genre.
Filled with weird aliens, awesome space ships and a brilliant social commentary on the state of the environment in our world, Space Dumplins is the story of Violet who goes in search of her missing father. "Nerd King" Joss Whedon called this book an "adorable epic" and he is not wrong. Although the fact it is ‘for all ages’ might put some people off, ‘all ages’ does not exclusively mean for children and while children can read this and find great enjoyment from it, Space Dumplins is beautiful, weird fun that will bring out the child in everyone.
A fantastic mix of gritty western and hard sci-fi, Copperhead brings all the great things from both genres and finds a brilliant middle ground where the two can meet at high noon. New sheriff Clara Bronson must deal with resentful deputies, alien hillbillies and a shady mining tycoon and that’s all on her first day. With a well thought out set up from writer Jay Faerber and Godlewski’s brilliant line work, Copperhead is ideal for those who like a bit of mystery and gritty western crime with their space drama.
In the run up to the release of The Force Awakens, Marvel have released new graphic novels set in the Star Wars universe. The three main series focus on Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia individually, and are set between episodes IV and V. Each series shows them in a new light while still sticking true to the source material. The other big title is The Force Awakens: Shattered Empire, this chronicles some of the time between episode VI and the new film, connecting the films for the very first time. All of these are a must read for anyone even remotely interested in the Star Wars universe and the new film.
When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. This book collects the first six issues of the smash-hit series The Onion A V Club calls "the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make."
Welcome to Copperhead, a grimy mining town on the edge of a backwater planet. Single mom Clara Bronson is the new sheriff, and on her first day she'll have to contend with a resentful deputy, a shady mining tycoon, and a family of alien hillbillies. And did we mention the massacre?
For Violet, family is the most important thing in the whole galaxy. So when her father goes missing while on a hazardous job, she can't just sit around and do nothing. Throwing caution to the stars, she sets out with a group of misfit friends on a quest to find him.
Young Robot boy TIM-21 and his companions struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. Written by award-winning creator, Jeff Lemire, Descender is a rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey.