Feb 19, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 725: Terraformers #1, April 1987

https://www.comics.org/issue/647512/

There are two really interesting things going on in this comic.

First, this has got to be pretty early Kelley Jones art, probably done some time while he was toiling away on Micronauts. It's not quite as polished as I'm used to seeing him, which could have to do with the inker he's working with. Jones, to me, has much more shadow on his figures. But it's cool to see art from an artist relatively early in their career, especially one as distinctive and impressive as Jones. If you're never had a chance to look at his work on the Batman books, on The Crusades, or in The Sandman, do yourself a favour.

The other interesting thing is that this is a Mecha comic. It's about teams of people piloting giant terraforming robots. The human/machine interface is basically identical to the one in Pacific Rim, and the premise seems to be coming straight from Japan. However, if anything, it's the least manga/anime-inspired giant robot story I've ever seen. From the robot design to the cast of characters (who spend much of this issue, when not piloting the robots, preparing to go on strike), to Jones' style of art. Perhaps it's that, that there's almost no influence of manga on the art. Even when we come to such Western comics styled series as Tokyo Storm Warning, particular tropes from the manga inspirations seeps in. But not so with Terraformers. It's a Western Mecha comic, and as such, is pretty neat.

To be continued.

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