Marvel and DC may be the big dogs on the block but that doesn’t mean they’re the only game in town. From Alterna Comics comes issue 3 of Tresspasser, written by Justin M. Ryan and art by Kristian Rossi.
To start, I enjoyed how Mr. Ryan was able to throw the reader into the deep end of the pool without losing me as the reader. He gets that each issue needs to be solid enough to grab the reader on its own without sacrificing the overall story. I felt as the reader drawn into the story of Hector and Maria without having to know anything about what brought them to the first page of this issue.
One scene that stuck out to me was one that brought Hector and Maria into the woods to hunt for some food. After a long wait, they finally find their prey and open fire, felling a bear. Yet once they determine the bear is dead, Hector checks for radiation and finds the bear is infected. The anguish and despair felt by both characters due to the loss of food and other items that could have been made with the remains was real and it made me drawn into what happens to them even more.
One critique I had for the story was that it felt at times like we were being strung along with narrative for the sake of padding out the issue. There was too much time spent with Maria as she anguished over events that happened to her during the issue that could have been spent advancing the main story along. I get what Mr. Ryan was trying to accomplish but I felt he could have let the artist take over some of the leg work in showing the growing distance between Hector and Maria. An adage they give writers which is especially true for comics is show, don’t tell. If there was a little less telling, the story could have been more concise without losing any of its emotion.
The art work from Kristian Rossi was beautiful. The cover alone is worth the price of admission. The rest of the work in the issue did good to not only show emotion between the characters, it made the set pieces seem realistic as well. Probably the only critique I could offer for the art would be to simply let the art tell more of the story. (This is the type of critique artists love to hear.) This issue reminds me of comics from the Silver Age, where each page was jammed packed with dialogue and narrative which at times drowned out the art that was on the page. While it didn’t break the cardinal rule here of having a character explain an action that the artist was showing them performing on the page, there could have been more done to not let the writing get in the way of the story. Not that the writing was bad. It's a great story. My point is that the same story goals could have been accomplished with maybe a third of the narrative gone from the story. Just because dialogue is not on the page doesn’t mean the story the writer wants to tell isn’t being told.
Overall I recommend Tresspasser. It’s not perfect but not many comics can reach that plateau. What it does good, it does really good especially since it allows a reader that may be joining the story with this issue the chance to start midway through without feeling lost. The art work does a great job of furthering the story along while pulling the reader into the world that is on the page. To get a comic published is tough work, even for the big two companies. When a team such as the ones behind Tresspasser is able to create a good story, you have to support them in any way you can.