Bracco’s art, for those of us who have been following his efforts at house Alterna, is tres dynamic. He is becoming a master at page construction, pulling the eye in such a way as to accentuate whatever the action at hand. And his character designs display more imagination than the Star Wars prequels. Any fans who fondly remember the unaffiliated Intergalactic Ninja Zen comics from the 90’s should know that this is on par, if not better in scope. I personally dig dark, solid inkworks, and the colour tones are kept dually minimalistic, all of which adds to the overall alien feel of the settings, monsters and ships. Attractive, energetic stuff. All in all, Adam Wreck And The Kalosian Space Pirates is a somewhat new territory for Bracco, one that I hope he is able to pursue a bit more. This is the kind of imaginative book to hook new, young readers into the crazy medium of funny books. And that’s a good thing, right?
Sometimes a comic simply encapsulates the heart of the medium. Adam Wreck and the Kalosian Space Pirates is one of those books. In their purest form comics are about kids, at least in my mind. Certainly the medium is diverse enough to allow the creation of books for adults, and that's what keeps someone like me interested. But, ultimately there needs to be comics which are the treasures of young people. They need to be something they look forward to spending their allowance on. They need to have a story a kid can get inside and pretend they are part of the adventure. When I was young, Batman was that sort of title. They really are more geared to an older teen audience today. The Phantom fit the bill too. Today young readers can still find adventures they can daydream over in titles such as Jay Piscopo's Capt'n Eli (previously reviewed here), and a great story like Adam Wreck.
Yorkton This Week
Several months back I reviewed the Free Comic Book Day oversized comic from Alterna for this site. In that book I was teased with several stories from Michael S. Bracco. Those stories were a brief insight into what many consider the best product that Alterna deliver. Based on my first full exposure to Bracco here, I subscribe to the consensus that Bracco is Alterna’s Bendis and I don’t make that statement lightly. All it takes is a quick jaunt around the internet to the sites that talk about independent comics and Bracco’s name regularly comes up when it comes to consistent quality work. Considering that Alterna is his home publisher, knocking out such work would garner such comparisons easily. So, as evidenced by this 88-page giant, when I finished the book I thought to myself that this was a fantastic read. You know at times when you get engrossed in a book that you just lose yourself in it and suddenly you realise that a half hour has passed and you don’t care because you know that you just experienced a quality read? That was what I got from this tonight when I read it.
The life of Adam Wreck is that of a lonely boy in a travelling family. His parents are enthusiastic space explorers and for the last several years the family has endeavoured to travel further than anything recorded by Earth’s devices. Adam, meanwhile is just a kid pining for the simplicities of youth: T.V., friends, video games, et al. His day is progressing just like any other, until Earth-1 (his family’s ship) is ambushed by the first space-faring vessel they have seen on their travels. It quickly becomes apparent that this will not be a friendly encounter as a boarding attempt is the cause of Adam being ejected in an escape pod and crash landing on a planet with life supporting properties. Adam’s parents are subsequently taken captive by the Kalosians boarding party. While exploring the planet that he crashed on with no obvious means of escape due to his damaged escape pod, Adam stumbles upon a glowing crystal-like object when he receives a communiqué from his father telling him of the safety but capture of his parents. During his conversation with his father Adam is blindsided by a native creature of the planet. It is due to the timely intervention of one Captain Voric that Adam is saved from an untimely death.
The character of Voric is a guy trying to be a tough guy, willing to line his own pocket by any means, driven by wealth and recognition - while still having a heart. I would imagine that Bracco was using the Space Pirates for comedic effect and that worked fine but there was some excellent banter between Voric and Adam that was just hilarious. His character alone makes me wish that there were legs on this title. I would love for this book to return in the vein represented here.
Bracco went for a predominantly orange, black and grey toned art style here and it works quite well. After finishing the book you can easily see how the art was a great fit for the story and I don’t think it would have worked any other way. The style wasn’t over complicated in any way and readers should be able to easily follow the book accordingly.
As an all ages book this wasn’t dumbed down for its target audience, instead all demographics of readers will get something different and enjoyable out of it. It is an exceptional book for its intentions and if you are looking for a humorous, all action, good intentioned piece of entertainment that everyone can enjoy, then look no further than Adam Wreck.
Story: Overall 9.33
Concept – 10/10 * Plot – 9/10 * Dialogue – 9/10
Art: Overall 8.33
Style – 8/10 * Storytelling – 9/10 * Colour/Tones – 8/10
Importance: Overall 9.33
To the Title –10/10 * To the Company – 10/10 * To the Medium – 8/10
David O’ Leary / COMICRELATED.COM
Before I get to ADAM WRECK, let me briefly mention that creator Michael Bracco is best known for his epic NOVO series. NOVO is an often violent, surprisingly dark fable of war and the discovering one's identity and purpose in a vast universe. It's a work that can justly be referred to as "a masterpiece" and "an opus".
If dark and violent isn't your thing, however, ADAM WRECK is a delightful departure from this. An all-ages tale kicked off by a somewhat tried and true boy-gets-separated-from-parents-in-strange-place scenario. Adam is the boy, and he soon encounters the anti-hero rogue named Voric who's looking for an object called the "Trillion Star" - a jewel said to contain a map of all the trillions of galaxies in the whole universe. If Adam can help Voric find the Star, Voric MIGHT help Adam rescue his parents from Kalosian Space pirates.
The story is fast-paced, whimsical and action-packed, chock-full of Bracco's signature alien designs (think Jim Henson meets Invader Zim), and is a complete adventure all in one Graphic Novel. It's perfect for any age - I kept waiting for the deadly streak of NOVO to appear here, but it never does. The tone remains lighthearted throughout, while Bracco's creativity remains at its peak, instead of being ampered by the all-ages restraint. ADAM WRECK is a gorgeous melding of story and art, a gorgeous graphic novel period.
DAVE BAXTER - ROBOT COMIX