Review by Karl Verhoven
Episode 1 of Leo’s return to his extensive Aldebaran continuity united his primary character Kim Keller with the surviving members of The Survivors. It also set up viable political circumstances necessitating a group of people stepping through an alien transportation system to an unknown other world where technology doesn’t work. It ended with Marie abducted by what were presumed by the exploratory party to be primitive people.
Unfortunately for Kim and her companions the political situation on Aldebaran has rapidly shifted, dangerous incidents having fuelled the more cautious who aren’t sure about contact with alien races, and the already xenophobic. Kim is given a deadline of a week to locate Marie before the transportation technology is shut down. That established, Leo switches attention to the separated parties in the new world where surprises await.
As with all of Leo’s projects there are some clumsy moments of melodrama: “We don’t belong to the same world. The other day, when I went to see him at the hospital, his daughter and his ex-wife were there… …and I felt like and intruder”. However, over this middle section he has a tight grip on the plot, and his shocks all drop at the right moment and the mysteries he introduces are all of interest.
Leo’s art is the usual mixture of good design and locations, but stiff and posed people. Fans of his exotic creatures will find more of them, some exaggerations of Earth wildlife, others more original, intriguing creations, and he also draws lush foliage, although that’s more traditional.
By the end of Episode 2 it seems as if something of substance is being set up. Political differences infest two worlds, and Leo ensures human problems are at the heart of his story. There were a few doubts about the pacing of Episode 1, but there is no dragging here as the pages turn fast, and Episode 3 becomes one to look forward to.