Written by: Steve Horton
Art by: Stephen Thompson
Satellite Falling #1 follows Lilly, a bounty-hunter and sole human resident of Satellite, a constructed community of alien creatures from every corner of the galaxy. Lilly’s ability to blend in stems from her holo-suit, an illegal piece of technology that allows her to flawlessly replicate the appearance of any alien species. She stalks her target, she picks a new face, she does the job and gets her bounty. Of course it’s never really that simple is it?
Lilly is plagued with guilt over the death of her girlfriend Eva three years earlier, and the crushing isolation of Satellite seems to serve as both panacea and punishment.
In true noir fashion, Chief Zaim, Lilly’s gender-bending alien contact with the police, manages to turn a sexual liaison into a chance to recruit Lilly for a dangerous sting operation. And when she refuses? Zaim threatens her and her allies on Satellite with arrest.
This scene is one of the most powerful set of images in the issue, going from sci-fi sexy to to dark crime drama at the drop of a pin. Thompson’s art is so easy to follow and has such a cinematic quality to it. There are some gorgeous closeups and a focus on closeness – I won’t say intimacy – that makes the tonal shift of the scene that much more stark. Not to mention, Horton’s dialog in this sequence could come straight out of a Chandler novel. It left me wanting just a little more interaction between these two characters.
Lilly reluctantly agrees to participate in the sting operation, which she immediately jeopardizes in an attempt to free the aliens enslaved by a cadre of drug dealers. Cue cliffhanger and me wishing I had the next issue in my hands.
I read a lot of first issues and rarely do I find one as well paced and plotted as Falling Satellite is. Steve Horton seems to have a fair handle on sci-fi noir, something a lot of folks either think they’re doing really well, when they aren’t really doing noir at all, or just straight up do poorly. This is a story that knows what it is coming out of the gate and to me, that’s exciting. It should excite you too.
This is a comic I want to keep reading. Please go buy it so I can keep reading it.