Image's new release for this week features the thrilling new sci-fi title Tartarus.
Penned by Johnnie Christmas and brought to vivid life by Jack T. Cole, Tartarus is a non-stop, action-filled ride that will keep you full of tension as you turn the page.
Classically in Greek mythology, Tartarus is referred to as this bottomless prison where the worst of the worst were held prisoner, with no hope for escape. Here Tartarus is where the story begins to unfold and where the problems begin for our cast and crew.
Christmas often references a plethora of places that correspond with different aspects of Greek mythology for his tale. Considering that the tale takes place in a distant future where acts that we think of as wondrous are commonplace in society, Christmas puts into play a fun contrast that combines the ancient past with the distant future.
Tartarus seems to focus regularly on moral ambiguity, which is a rather fun take on things, especially because it's not quite as direct as many are used to. Towards the end of the first act, I found myself (almost) rooting for the "bad" guy on account of how their exposition plays out. In the second half we get another very similar feeling, but with a little more certainty on what side of the coin you may want to be on.
One of the things I liked most about Tartarus had to be the often vivid colors and changes of said colors as the scene changes were occurring throughout the first part of the tale. It was easy to find the transitions in space due to the bright and almost psychedelic colors that we saw on each and every page of issue #1. Jack T. Cole did a wonderful job of bringing Tartarus to life with his captivating and poignant artwork, which is enough to keep a reader coming back for more installments of Tartarus.
One of the tricky aspects of Tartarus is the constant build-up towards big events in the issue, as they can drag on just a tad too long at times and leave you with a tension that can find no release in a big climactic even that is just a bit too far off.
Another issue can be found in the sudden setting shift in the second part of the first issue. Too much time can be spent getting familiar with the characters of the first part, only to find that they may not have much of a lasting impact and that this can cause a sort of detachment towards the cast and crew of the second half of the issue.
All in all, Tartarus was a fun read, and the extra-sized first issue is enough to keep you entertained for quite a while, as it nearly reads like a Graphic Novel, and could even have survived as a one-shot if it had been given a few more pages to tie things up. Tartarus is available 2/12/2020 at your local comic book shops with two different covers to choose from!