Writer- Sam Read
Penciller- Caio Oliveira
The opening half of the first issue of Exit Generation tells of how most of humanity decided to leave Earth for the stars and a quest for a new home. The second half shows that with far fewer people on it, Earth isn’t such a bad place. Writer Sam Read gives us a story that shifts gears from Interstellar to Mars Attacks, and as goofy as that sounds, works well because his main characters are well-developed and their relationships feel real and honest.
As the story opens in 2025, Earth is in crisis mode. Food is scarce, war rages and Martial law is declared. In a ten-year time span a series of exploratory arks are built, and 95% of humanity takes to space, leaving behind 5% of the population. We see the progression of a young couple, Matthew and Olivia as they marry and get selected to be on the ships as they leave. Matthew had been involved from the beginning with the building of the giant vessels, collectively known as Project Exit. For reasons unexplained, Matthew leaves with the arks, and Olivia stays on Earth, shortly thereafter discovering she is with child. Project Exit runs into a major catastrophe in space, and the story skips ahead twenty-five years into the future. The future on a now serene, less crowded Earth. The remainder of the issue focuses on Jack, the twenty year old son of Matthew and Olivia. Jack craves adventure in life, as since the mass exodus occurred life has been peaceful, yet boring planet side. As the issue nears ending, something troubling arrives from the sky, and pushes Jack into real action for the first time in his life.
Read writes a fantastic series opener, giving us a quick but thorough prologue that explains to us not only the story of what happened to Earth, but also weaves in Jack’s origins as well. I have a feeling that we are not done with the story aboard the arks yet either, nor Olivia’s. Artist Caio Oliveira has great style, but more importantly proves himself a master visual storyteller with the prologue sequence, capturing events and emotions in single panels, with no dialogue. These two creators together are obviously on the same page, as the finished product shows.
Exit Generation #1 is the best kind of first issue a reader could hope for, as it is quick to establish setting, plot and character in balance. Too often one is favored over the other in hopes to get the story started and often results in an uneven book, where either the characters are fully realized and the concept isn’t, or vice versa. Read and Oliveira have an uphill battle to fight to continue this level of storytelling over the next three issues of this mini, but after this first installment, I’m in for the ride.
5 Expendables DVDs of 5
Exit Generation #1 available at Comic Retailers and Comixology on September 23rd. Preview copy provided by ComixTribe.