18th Apr2015

‘Leap #0 and #1′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Created by Daniel McLaughlin, Kevin Logue | Art by Michael O’Callaghan,Jonny Lynn, Ciaran Doherty, Richard Rodgers, Marcus Kirk, Nathan McIntyre | Published by Uproar Comics

Leap_Issue1_Cover_New_Small

At first glance Leap, by indie publisher Uproar Comics, looks like being a very by-the-numbers sci-fi adventure. Large spaceship on extended voyage of discovery? Check. Mixed bunch of crew members, at least one of which is irritating? Check. Undiscovered alien planets and races? Check. We’ve all seen this story dressed up in various ways, in various media, for many years.

However, things take a turn for the better story wise when it becomes apparent that the true purpose for which the starship Vanguard was sent on its voyage is not what the crew were told. The mystery then revolves around just what is the ship’s true mission, and which of the crew know what the real endgame is? This little dash of intrigue and deception serves to distance Leap from just being yet another space opera.

Issue 0 serves to set the scene, by introducing the starship Vanguard, the main characters, the first encounter with an alien planet and its inhabitants, and a few action scenes to get us started on the journey. Issue 1, by contrast, spends the majority of its page count filling in the gaps in our knowledge, switching between the present and the past, where we learn a little about how the ship came to be built, who paid for it, its ‘official’ mission, and a hint or two about what its ‘real’ mission may be.

With regards to the story itself, spread over these two issues, I enjoyed it to a degree, but found the characterization and dialogue to be quite weak, or at least too overly familiar for the genre. The crew were identikit, and the aliens were by the numbers too. A little more originality would have helped what is a reasonably decent plot. Maybe the creators just need a little more time to give the characters their own voice, but the dialogue too often lacked character and could have been spoken by any member of the crew. The only character that stood out for me was The Prime (the ships female captain).

The art is one of those marmite situations, you’ll love it or hate it. Issue 0 has a sort of blend of ‘normal’ comic artwork added with a CG sheen, while Issue 1 has art completely rendered in computer graphics. Of the two styles, the blended art of Issue 0 is better, as the fully computer generated artwork of Issue 1 is far too static, making the characters seem lifeless and expressionless. Even the best writer would struggle to convey true emotion and energy through characters rendered in such a static way.

It’s fair to say this was a very uneven start for Leap. Some nice ideas in there, but for me not executed as well as you would hope for, either in terms of script or art. Let’s call it a work in progress.

** 2/5

Leap Issues #0 and #1 are available now from Uproar Comics.

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