Sole survivor of a spaceship crash, Navee grew up on a jungle planet, swinging from vines and making friends with the more sophisticated animals. Just as she ripened into womanhood, her planet gets wasted and she ends up living with a group of aliens who travel the stars in a vast convoy of ships. Since she’s got all this jungle grrl power, the aliens start sending her on dangerous missions. She doesn’t mind, but she sure would like to meet another human being to find out… uh… what human being do.
If you think this sounds hokey, think again. Wake is a very cool series of graphic novels from NMB Publishing. We’re talking straight-ahead, old-school science fiction with an emphasis on good storytelling. Me like good storytelling.
Book one starts with Navee in her jungle and shows us the fate of her planet–basically, a scary-looking alien scorches it and all its wildlife. Now, here’s what Wake does really well–you start off thinking this alien is a bad guy, but once you learn his motive you’re not so sure. By the end, you’re left thinking, “I might have done the same in his situation.”
Somehow I missed book 2 (a situation I hope to correct soon). But book 3 recently arrived, and it’s got that same twisty, who’s-really-right-who’s-really-wrong element. Basically, Navee visits a snowbound planet to investigate a race of creatures who look kind of like humans (except for those Panda-style markings on their faces) and a mysterious something buried under the ice. She gets help from a Panda-faced pseudo-Bolshevik and together they manage to either save the planet or doom it, depending on your point of view.
Adventure, excellent artwork, head-scratching moral conundrums–what’s not to like? Actually, some of you priggish humans may be bothered by the book’s high T&A factor–Navee is, after all, a recovering jungle queen, and doesn’t mind stripping down when the situation calls for it.
You want to know: “Is it exploitive?” Sorry, you’re asking the wrong robot. I wasn’t programmed for political correctness. Plus, I happen to like my comics with plenty o’ skin.
Judge for yourself–online previews can be found here. Or better yet, don’t worry about it and just buy the damn book!