MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
Bornhome #1 tells the story of a young orphan on the dilapidated planet, TR-1138, helping a downed Steel Security fighter pilot survive the dangers lurking in the ruins of the biggest abandoned theme park anyone’s ever seen. (In the words of Kenobi, that’s no moon . . . ) Like Tobin’s recent “mech” comic, Gunsuits (also published by American Gothic Press), the first issue of Bornhome benefits from a bold opening that spares no time in both shocking and grabbing readers in the first few pages. Tobin’s script features the gritty, Ridley Scott-esque sci-fi style he’s used before, but touches on timely themes and subject matter such as the unintended civilian casualties of high-tech war and how a child’s exposure to such a volatile environment can lead to an unsettling desensitization towards occurrences of death and violence.
Bornhome also seems tailor-made to thrill and captivate fans of Tobin’s work on Dark Horse Comics’ Prometheus: Fire and Stone. Bornhome’s plot features a substance called Terracore (also called dark milk by some), which is not only extremely rare and valuable, but shares certain properties with the Engineer’s black goo (such as the ability to “change a world” and “give it life"). In addition, the terrifying, eyeless creatures known as the Kind Souls will definitely give the creature fanatics out there their monster fix while giving the rest of us nightmares. (Did I mention that they mostly come out at night? Mostly . . . ) While I might just be seeing non-existent xenomorphs in the shadows, the point is that while Tobin’s script delivers new and intriguing characters and plot elements, space horror fans can rest assured that the author still clearly remembers that, in space, no one can hear you scream.
Johnson and Diecidue bring Tobin’s script to life with their talents and clearly mesh well as an art team. Johnson’s pencils are detailed and emotive, showing great range in depicting everything from high-intensity space battles, intimate character moments, and horrifying monsters. That said, the impact of Diecidue’s colors should not be underestimated. Lush and vibrant, Diecidue “paints” with a diverse color palette and manages to make the book exciting and eye-catching without seeming excessive or out of sync with the inherently harsh nature of the story.
FINAL VERDICT: If you’ve enjoyed any of Tobin’s previous work or are just a sci-fi comic fan in general, then Bornhome is definitely worth picking up. Tobin and the rest of the creative team offer a story that is influenced enough by the sci-fi epics that have come before it to whet the appetite of the casual sci-fi fan, but also includes enough original material and twists on the genre to provide a unique and exciting, space-based comic series.
You can find out more about Bornhome #1 by visiting the official American Gothic Press website.
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers! Be sure to drink your dark milk!
'Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer