After Earth: Innocence — the Reviews are In

After Earth: Innocence was a one-shot comic given out at the movie panel at San Diego Comic-Con with a nifty Jae Lee cover. The commercial version, with a cover by my pal Dennis Calero, was released by Dynamite Entertainment last Wednesday.

In the wake of its release, the reviews have been coming in and I am delighted with the response so far. First up was VG Revolution and they said,  “I did not really know what to expect going into a comic that is a prequel to a movie that I know just a little about…However, the comic does a really nice job of both explaining the back story of the After Earth universe but also working in some action.

“It has a lot of action and yet the action is not the point of the story.  It is really well written and kept me reading what is essentially the ancestral history of a character in a movie that I’ve not even seen a trailer for.  Yes, I was fully engrossed as I read it.”

The Lottery Party weighed in, saying, “This thoughtful one-shot is a self-contained does of heavy science fiction, with a father sharing defining moments of their culture’s near thousand years of history with his young son by way of a bedtime story. And the story is wide scale, detailing how humans leave the homeworld following environmental devastation, and the slow turn to find a new home while conquering their own innate malfeasance.

“Friedman and Greenberger are aces of sci-fi of course, in comics and prose, and their conjoined efforts craft a thorough story vividly set far in the future.”

Then there’s Comic Hype, which notes, “The history is the critical part to the tie-in, and like any sci-fi universe, it’s important to learn, in order to fully understand the plot and why things are the way they are. The book will tell you about the Savant and Primus people, their leaders, how war broke out, and explains Carter Raige’s involvement. I particularly noticed some well scripted panels that detail lighting and shadowing as they show Beni Lobel‘s pages as comfortable and intrinsic to earth in a way. Nova Prime comes alive on these pages as the ships, the people, the action, and the writing all flow into what ends up being a very good read. The writing and closeness or similarity communicated between one Raige generation to the next, was very well crafted and like any great fiction bit, the weight of the relationships or the drama in my mind, trumps the action and special effects.”

One Geek Nation gave it a 3, disliking the framing sequence but happy with the rest of the book. They said, “Despite the poor structure of the narrative, again something that was beyond the writers’ control, Michael and Robert do an excellent job of conveying how father is attempting to pass on wisdom to son by telling the story of how a son actually passed on wisdom to his father. In just three pages they establish the political and social situation for the people of Nova Prime and then quickly transition into the action sequence that sets up the rest of the comic without missing a beat. The dialogue was solid, enough information was given about each important character to differentiate them from one another and the story was given enough pace to keep things interesting.

The comic remains available and clearly, it’s worth your while.

Next up will be the digital short stories from Random House by Peter David, Mike Friedman, and yours truly, starting in December. I’m really looking forward to hearing what you think.

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