The dangers and difficulties of becoming an astronaut and working in the dangerous environment of outer space and beyond take center stage in AfterShock Comics’ upcoming sci-fi thriller.
Called “Astronaut Down,” this ambitious new space series arrives on June 1. It is written by James Patrick (“The Kaiju Score,” “Campisi: The Dragon Incident”) and infused with intense illustrations by artist Rubine (“Search for Hu”), colorist Valentina Briški (“Eden”), and letterer Carlos M. Mangual (“Dark red: where the roads lead”).
The story follows the adventures of Douglas Spitzer, a young astronaut in training who is being briefed and prepared for a strange mission into the abyss of alternate realities on a futile mission to rescue Earth from a calamity that has our planet on the brink of collapse. extinction.
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This wild endeavor puts Spitzer on the test of his life, where anything that can go wrong will go wrong. His abilities and inner conflicts will be challenged when a hidden truth emerges to put everything in danger.
Patrick explained that “Astronaut Down” refers to the core beliefs and humanity of an astronaut. The series was inspired by the aesthetics of the 2020 independent sci-fi film “Possessor” directed by Brandon Cronenberg.
“‘Astronaut Down’ is looking through the lens of NASA’s space program, but when it comes to traveling to alternate worlds,” Patrick told Space.com. “We see the training, the launch, the failure of other missions. It examines the theory of an astronaut. The philosophy of one. What it takes to be that kind of person. The sacrifice, the duty and the mentality. And then we challenge those things when it comes to one of the characters.
“The term ‘astronaut’ is used symbolically in this,” Patrick said. “An astronaut is an explorer of space, but it has come to have a more general meaning, so it is the same term that refers to explorers of other realities.”
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“Astronaut Down” is hopeful but also slightly somber, and that tone suits the dark material well.
It’s “heartbreaking about the physical state the world is in and the mental states that are in disagreement about what to do about it,” Patrick said. “And that reflects what astronauts go through, having to be optimistic and adventurous in the midst of frightening and dangerous circumstances. And there’s a touch of horror in the book’s sci-fi to embellish that.”
“Rubine’s line work is so clean and perfect for science fiction,” said Patrick. “The collaboration has been wonderful for this story. And Valentina Briški’s colors sent it all home. I am very lucky to work with this team. I hope to be lucky enough to work with both of them again at some point.”
AfterShock Comics’ “Astronaut Down #1” releases June 1, with a regular cover by Rubine and an incentive variant by Andy Clarke with colorist Jose Villarrubia.
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