Matt Garvey has already had a prolific start to 2019 with his comic releases and I was lucky enough to get look at his most recent book Prey For Us.
We’re dropped onto a strange planet where astronaut finds himself in an escape pod cast far away from his crashed ship and it’s here that his problems begin. His fear hits him straight in the face but he’s soon determined to find the other escape pods, get to this ship and find out what happened.
There’s the extra pang of fear in him though as his wife is among the crew and he has no idea how they ended up where they are now. Cue the cross-country slog through an unknown jungle and the darkness closes in around him to test his resolve to the limit. In the shadows of the trees is an unseen predator though and it soon becomes apparent that Oliver is in big trouble unless he can get his ass into gear quickly.
The book is a blend of your typical sci-fi tropes but Matt keeps that from becoming too samey with a swift plot that sweeps us off our feet and into the threatening planet the central characters finds himself on. Dropping us in the midst of Oliver’s rude awakening and then drip feeding us the fear & tension he has for both the surroundings he’s in and what’s happened to his wife gives the story a solid direction to flow in. That all builds to a cliffhanger reveal and it’s got a lot of potential for what future issues will offer.
Art-wise the book is pretty slick from J Francis Totti and he has some great use of panel composition & colour to start the world closing in around Oliver as the focus for this opening issue. The one thing I probably would have changed in the issue is actually seeing the alien that was hunting Oliver down as I would much rather have built it up in my mind than get a look so early on and it did have the look of many other aliens we’ve seen in movies/comics/tv shows in the end which seemed to be the only thing to let it down.
The alien itself is a minor quibble for me given how well constructed the rest of the story is and especially given how easy it was to join in with Oliver on his trek. That success is partially down to the plot and partially down to the setup of the pages so the Garvey/Totti combo is one that shows promise already.
You can also keep up to date with the creative team over on twitter too:
J Francis: @thelifeoftotti