1oo years from now, UN special weapons inspector Nathan Kane is sent to the first human space station orbiting Jupiter's moon Europe, because of the perfectly functioning sarcophaguses found in the sea below its frozen surface... and of what's down there with them. Kane and the station's crew aren't the only one who know, though: The crazed manager of a corporate space station has triggered the menace lurking in the European ocean and Kane and his crew are all that stands between mankind and total annihilation at the hands of a billion years old menace...
Revealing more would spoil the fun and the brilliant roller-coasting thrilling journey of discovery this book is, so I'll stop now.
What I'll rant on about is how this graphic novel, optioned for a movie that may sadly never happen, guiltily went under the radar of too many critics and fans.
Writer Warren Ellis throws so many concepts at you here and draws on so many ssources, that your head will spin - so complex and articulated this graphic novel is - if you don't take your time reading, taking in the sights and letting the story and characters work on you. The book is about the beauty and perils and courage of space travel and of explorering in general; about pioneers and a batmanesque main character; about critisising and satirising corporate culture; about horrors from beyond time and the evil that's as much at the core of the human race as is its yearn to live and better itself despite being flawed. All this thrown at you at increasingly dazzling speed. The pace, in fact, builds up slowly but once it seriously picks up halfway through, it's hard to put the book down.
Artist Chris Sprouse draws the hell out of it too, reaching unprecedented highs of scary darkness with his essential, crisp, expressive artwork.
Completing the book's excellent presentation are the stunning covers of the original issues by comics legend Michael Golden, here reproduced as chapter headings, and the Sprouse's preparatory artwork used as some sort of chapter heading pages.
In all, an excellent book, beatifully designed too, that would be a pearl in every serious sci-fi fan's shelves.
Awesome premise, degenerates into traditional partway through action-adventure.
To it's credit, it's the first comic I've read that had realistically drawn women.