BLUE HOUR #1: “Hostile Territory”
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
Writer: Dino Caruso
Artist: Chad Cicconi
Colorist: Francesca Zambon
Review by Anelise Farris
Blue Hour #1 is the story of a group of human colonists who, after being granted permission by the alien leader Prime Minister Okul, leave earth and set up a utopian, self-sustaining community on a faraway planet. However, as one might expect, their utopic vision is threatened—not only by aliens (who were not all in favor of Okul’s decision), but also by themselves.
Local legend has it that the “blue hour” is a time in which evil forces and dark thoughts prey on those exposed to the blue sun’s light. As the blue hour nears and issue #1 comes to a close, an alien revolt is underfoot and black market deals are being plotted. Readers are left wondering: what will become of Two Suns Colony?
The writing in Blue Hour #1 is clear and fast-paced, and the story itself has all of the familiar makings of a classic sci-fi tale. The story opens in a bar, and although we are told that this is earth, it is not familiar: we see brightly colored hair, face paint, and a woman with a Princess Leia vibe. After the bar, we jump to the group of colonists getting Okul’s blessing, and then we fast forward to two years later with the approach of the ominous blue hour. With all of the jumping around in a single issue, I feel that I have a lot of questions that I fear will not be answered in subsequent issues: how did humanity get here? What exactly is the relationship between the aliens and the humans? Is there only one race of aliens? Why a prime minister? What is life like on earth (beyond one shot of a bar)? To name a few…
The story also does not seem to have a protagonist or protagonists (at least not yet), and that distanced me from the story. And, unfortunately, as a big sci-fi geek myself, Blue Hour #1 did not have the philosophical weight that I was anticipating. The art, while being for the most part conventional and cartoonish, did pair nicely with the text however, which overall amounts to a fun, quick read.
Wait and See. Blue Hour #1 felt like an outline of classic sci-fi: all of the aliens, dystopia, and mystery, but without any depth. However, Issue #1 was enough to interest me and make me hopeful that future issues will give it some of the weight that it so desperately needs.