When reading 40 Seconds #1 you just can’t help but be reminded of the various classic sci-f films of the modern era that have helped inform this new 5 issue science fiction mini-series from writer Jeremy Haun, artist Christopher Mitten, colourist Brett Weldele and letterer Thomas Mauer. But that’s the point. Haun filters into his story everything he loves about science fiction, but doesn’t give too much away either in this first issue that raises a good few questions regarding the real motivations behind this space-faring mission across the space ways using Stargate-like portals to allow for quick jumps across space.
And while we may be expected to focus on the mission, and more importantly the first group of explorers who have gone missing, the more eagle-eyed reader may well pick up on the odd clue that suggests there may be something a little odd about this particular visitor of the future. Why for example, are the new crew referring to each other as numbers and not their given names? And, what is their motivation for being on this fact finding mission in the first place?
As the crew sit comfortably around a table at then start of the debut issue, we get the chance to be introduced to our lead players in a scene that is reminiscent of Alien and our first encounter with the crew of the Nostromo. It’s here the verbal clues are dropped, but can easily be dismissed as the main focus of the issue comes into view: the rescue mission and fact finding journey that supposedly only takes 36 hours to complete.
But, you just know that won’t be the case and as the team of rescuers venture further and further across space trouble rears its ugly head.
While there is a lit of references to various timings, there’s no direct reference to what the title of this comic could suggest. Yet. But, time is clearly a huge factor in this story and I’ve seen enough science fiction to know time can be a bit of a inconsistent element at best. Again, it’s all there in the dialogue, but also in a discovery they find quite early on. And yet, never do any of them hear any alarm bells going off. Unlike us readers.
Mitten’s artwork is very crisp and clear, only accentuated by the colour art of Weldele, who helps differentiate the various alien worlds we travel through in just this first issue. It a lot to take in, but well paced throughout.
40 Seconds #1 is a debut issue that pulls you into the adventure – travelling through the galaxy on a potential wild goose chase – but the various layers to this narrative have only just been scratched at, with plenty of revelations yet to come, methinks. And that’s without even mentioning the vision one of the gang has on the very first page.
A curious mystery in space that I’m intrigued to find out more about.
40 Seconds #1 is available now digitally from comiXology Originals