REVIEW: ‘Primordial,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Primordial #1

Primordial #1 is written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, colored by Dave Stewart, and lettered & designed by Steve Wands. It is published by Image Comics. In 1959, the Sputnik 2 and the final Jupiter rockets-carrying the terrier/husky Laika and monkeys Able and Baker-seemingly burned up upon reentering Earth’s atmosphere. Two years later, Doctor Donald Pembrook is summoned to Cape Canaveral to help dismantle the equipment and determine if any of it can be used for military purposes. However, Pembrook stumbles upon a massive conspiracy and learns that the Sputnik and Jupiter missions may have encountered something otherworldly…

Primordial marks another genre that Lemire has put his own personal touch on. After shaking up the superhero scene with his Black Hammer saga and injecting a fresh burst of energy into the post-apocalyptic story with Sweet Tooth, Lemire has now turned his attention to the sci-fi thriller. And like any good thriller, he knows how to build suspense; the issue cuts back and forth between Pembrook’s investigation and what exactly happened to the Sputnik and Jupiter missions. The final page only raises even more questions, which makes me want to pick up the next issue. That’s how you know you’re reading a good story.

The series also reunites Lemire and Sorrentino, who previously worked on the horror-themed series Gideon Falls for Image and Green Arrow for DC Comics. Sorrentino’s art perfectly fits the mystery vibe of the comic, with the first page setting the stage for what’s to come. A series of panels begin in the cold void of outer space before slowly pulling back to reveal the eyes and then the face of one of the Jupiter monkeys. As Jupiter approaches a mysterious event horizon, the panels began to scatter and shrink until the scene finally changes to the next page. Sorrentino also makes his human characters look like real people; a mysterious informant who tips off Pembrook bears a surprising resemblance to James Spader, and Pembrook himself could be a dead ringer for Sterling K. Brown.

Rounding out the artistic team is Stewart on colors and Wands on letters. Stewart is best known for his work on Hellboy; here, he oscillates between various palettes depending on the setting. Space is a cold, vast expanse of black dotted with stars; Cape Canaveral is drenched in sunlight while the inside is dark and dotted with light from various electronic devices. One page is even pure white and features a thin red line representing a heartbeat, which is oddly chilling. Wands makes inventive use of the letters; the series’ title, for example, is presented as a scattered mess of letters that hints at the chaos to come. Put together in tandem with Sorrentino’s art and Lemire’s script, the entire experience is something you have to read to believe.

Primordial #1 combines a sharp script and eye-melting artwork for a sci-fi mystery that’s immensely engaging. I cannot wait to read future issues, and I recommend this series to any fans of science fiction or the work of Lemire & Sorrentino.

Primordial #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Primordial #1
5

TL;DR

Primordial #1 combines a sharp script and eye-melting artwork for a sci-fi mystery that’s immensely engaging. I cannot wait to read future issues, and I recommend this series to any fans of science fiction or the work of Lemire & Sorrentino.