Story/Art: Dave Chisholm
What They Say:
Fiery exploding skulls; super volcanic eruptions; interstellar travel; a mission gone horribly wrong; the ground turned to liquid; a miraculous launch; trapped half a mile beneath the surface of the planet and surrounded by otherworldly fire–the situation is looking dire for Helen and Arther as they attempt to blast their way back to the surface, Helen learns the truth behind the mission to Canopus amping up her urgency to return home.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Canopus has been an interesting run so far in trying to figure out the big picture of what the crew is up to with this mission and what the trick of it all is. It has a good Twilight Zone feeling about it with how it’s unfolding and Dave Chisholm has managed a solid flow and feeling with both the narrative and the artwork. The disarming moments with Arther definitely help and while the overly packed pages with the flashback material are intentionally dense for a few reasons that can be off-putting, it does the job as it needs to in order to fill in some of the gaps at the right time so that more elements click into place.
With this issue, Helen’s journey to find the materials she needs to get the ship running again meets with the reality of her situation. She’s deep in the tunnels with her oversized Arther but the memories are flooding back about what happened on Earth with events turning bad in general environmentally over the years and her ship and team discovering a world, Memoria, that has a host of material that would help suck up the pollutants and help to get Earth back on track. Add in a hyperdrive of sorts that will let them get there in three weeks, well, it’s ready to rock and roll. The only problem is that Yellowstone has turned into a supervolcano that has now snuffed out half of America with its heavy ash and will bring about final extinction for humanity within six months.
The story takes its weird turn after that as we see Helen discovering, well, her dead body buried deep in the cavern, which makes sense after we see how badly planetfall went. It’s not really explained or I missed a beat but Helen sticks to just doing what she has to in order to survive because she remembers the threat that Earth faces and how she can save everyone at this point. It’s a good impetus for her to get moving and doing what’s needed and that makes for some good scenes with her and Arther that has more resonance after understanding their past more. It’s got some good intensity to it as it barrels forward and as the obstacles feel like they’re falling away but there’s also that sense that things obviously aren’t right and it’s just waiting to see how it reveals itself and what truths Helen is going to have to face next.
Canopus definitely has me intrigued here to see more of the reality of what’s going on and what Helen’s going to face next. There’s a lot of critical backstory placed into the flashback pieces here and it helps to build more of the narrative with what Helen is facing in her now, though her now is pretty messed up based on the discovery she makes along the way. Arther continues to steal the show for me in a lot of ways as Chisholm makes him far too enjoyable to watch with his sizes and the expressions we get out of him. It’s a solid book that hopefully sticks the landing as well as it has the journey so far in the next issue.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Scout Comics
Release Date: June 17th, 2020