cover image THE SAGA OF SEVEN SUNS: Veiled Alliances

THE SAGA OF SEVEN SUNS: Veiled Alliances

Kevin J. Anderson, . . WildStorm/DC Comics, $24.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-1-56389-902-7

Anderson has written bestselling Star Wars and Star Trek books and coauthored the expanded Dune series, so he's adept at handling big settings and complicated plots. Now, he's created a space opera saga, with the first three novels either published or about to be published. This book, billed as a prequel to that series, pictures a situation rich in tantalizing hints of intrigue. After an exhausted Earth launches a swarm of spaceships in the desperate hope of finding new resources, the explorers are rescued by humanoid and apparently benevolent aliens, who divulge the secret of FTL (faster than light) travel and give humans the chance to colonize uninhabited planets. Some of this book's episodes take place aboard the spaceships or on different planets; they involve human interaction with vegetable intelligence, ancient robots and beings who live deep in the atmosphere of a giant gas planet. Other episodes occur on Earth, where the leader is actually a pawn of the Hanseatic League's unscrupulous chairman. There are many possibilities waiting to be developed—perhaps too many to do justice to in this relatively short comic. As it is, Anderson's script feels more like the rushed synopsis of a story than the story itself. The book stands out, however, for its superlative art. Teranishi's rendering of characters, machines and alien planets is stunning, but Fouts-Broome deserves special credit for her wonderful coloring. The drawings flex and glow on the page, like a mixture of Frank Frazetta and Maxfield Parrish, providing the freshness and wonder that the sketchy script doesn't. (Feb.)