PopCultHQ received a preview copy of WORLD READER #1 from AfterShock Comics. Hitting newsstands this coming Wednesday, April 19th, the creative team for this readers series features writing from Jeff Loveness, interior and cover art by Juan Doe, lettering by Rachel Deering, with covers by Doe and Elizabeth Torque, plus a C2E2 exclusive variant by Mike Rooth!
Here’s our spoiler-free look at the premiere issue of…
WORLD READER #1
Artist: Juan Doe
Letterer: Rachel Deering
Juan Doe (Cover A)
Elizabeth Torque (Cover B)
Mike Rooth (C2E2 Exclusive Variant)
NEW SERIES! Meet Sarah, an astronaut traveling from dead planet to dead planet,
talking to the ghosts of the dead worlds… as she fights to discover the secret that’s killing the universe. But Death doesn’t give up its secrets so easily, and as Death hunts her from planet to planet, Sarah struggles to maintain the trust of her crew and her own sanity in the endless ocean of lives. Every world has a story, and if she can find the secret tying them all together, she can save Earth from being the next world to die.
From GROOT and THE JIMMY KIMMEL SHOW writer Jeff Loveness and AMERICAN MONSTER, ANIMOSITY: THE RISE artist Juan Doe, comes the chilling, epic new series that will be sure to appeal to fans of THE ARRIVAL, INTERSTELLAR, and THE EXPANSE.
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
WORLD READER #1
Worlds are dying throughout the universe, but thankfully there is someone who may be able to find the cause and prevent it from occurring on Earth. Her name is Sarah, a psychic astronaut gifted with the ability to commune with the dead from these lifeless planets. A sort of planet whisperer, if you will, her gift lays in her capacity to immerse herself into the realm of the dead, even spiritually/psychically embodying one of the deceased inhabitants to witness for herself whatever catastrophic events brought their undoing. But as determined as Sarah is in finding the root cause of the obliteration of so many species and worlds, she’ll soon find that Death is seeking her out as well.
WORLD READER #1 should be read at least twice through. The first time, just simply read the story and take it all in as you typically would. But the second time around, focus on the artwork on each page, each panel. There’s a sort of fluidity about the illustrations that while they mimic the narrative, they also serve to function as a form of expressing the story in itself. Brilliant all-around comic book.
I had no idea what to expect upon reading WORLD READER #1. Prior to reading through the premiere issue, I did some research on writer Jeff Loveness to help me familiarize myself with him and his prior work. His forte has been his comedic writing and his sharp wit; his often self-deprecating humor shows he knows how to tell a joke, knows what’s funny, and spares no expense for getting the laughs he seeks. But with WORLD READER, you’ll find the writer most often associated with humor and comedy is a science fiction lover at heart.
The world which is being revealed to us illustrates Loveness’ creativity and imagination, quite possibility at a level as great as his comedic writing has proven. Though we’ve only met a few characters and witnessed some of the aspects of Sarah’s ability, it’s evident that Jeff has a fantastic story in his mind on the verge of exploding with grandeur (if that makes sense). His creative side is already translating brilliantly in his debut with AfterShock; it’ll leave you riveted, fascinated, and enchanted. I’m excited to see how the characters develop and how deep Sarah’s psychic ability is explored. With WORLD READER #1, Jeff Loveness makes a prominent and notable entry into the comic book industry with a story you can’t wait to see unfold.
Artist Juan Doe brings a captivating style to his sequentials. Whereas most sci-fi comics feature dry, arid atmospheres or cold environments, Doe opts to illuminate Loveness’ psychic component of the story and it is beyond impressive. With its trippy, near-psychedelic colors and free-flowing illustrations (most of which are not shown in the images placed in this review, almost too spoilery), Juan makes WORLD READER as much a visual story as it is a written one. The designs and colors the artist employs accentuate the warmth or coolness to each panel. It also feels as if Juan’s art is alive and fluid, which is an asset to the title and Loveness’ story.
Rachel Deering makes for a great contributor to WORLD READER. Her caption boxes for Sarah’s internal dialogue help arouse the emotion our lead character is experiencing, whether it’s fear, disorientation, or bewilderment. In going through the issue again, I think it’s because of the contrast in the colors of the captions against Doe’s art that almost lifts the words off the page. Also, while in The Ether, Deering’s lettering compliments the sentiment Sarah experiences through speaking with the dead. Really like what I see here and is a solid output from Rachel.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
AfterShock Comics adds a compelling and unique sci-fi series to their library, to go along with great titles from 2016 like THE REVISIONIST and REPLICA. But with WORLD READER, you’re getting something different from most comics in the genre. Where most are depicting a dystopian future, run-of-the-mill outer space stories/battles, or ones focused on survivalism, Loveness brings a narrative that’s interpersonal, rife with emotion, and what is shaping up to be a psychological wonder. Coupled with Doe’s fantastic visuals and bold choices, WORLD READER #1 sets itself apart from standard sci-fi fare. It’s an alluring story, visually enticing from cover to cover, and looks to be another hit for AfterShock Comics.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
WORLD READER #1 can be pre-ordered now digitally at ComiXology
or in print format at your local comic shop and various online retailers April 19th!
Jeff Loveness shares why you NEED to order World Reader #1 ASAP!
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Writer – Jeff Loveness
Artist – Juan Doe
Letterer – Rachel Deering
Publisher – AfterShock Comics