Review: Dark Horse’s ‘Navigator’ Is Hope-Filled Science Fiction

Welcome to the table,

When I was a kid I spent a lot of time in casts from various surgeries. Having your body weight in plaster and surgical gauze wrapped around your lower body for months on end leaves a lot of time for movies and reading.

While I saw a lot of stuff, probably a lot of stuff I should not have seen at that young of an age (I’m looking at you Mad Max), one of the movies that is still a favorite to this day is The Abyss. There is just something so compelling to me about alien life that shows up (or has been here the whole time) and is not immediately like “Let me put my weird wrist tail egg-laying tube down your throat and have your chest burst open with my hellspawn of a baby.”

I don’t have much faith in humanity most days, but it’s always nice to think that somewhere out there in the sea of stars, there are sentient species who want to help more than harm and who don’t, like our news cycles painfully illustrate. It pays to lead with hate.

Dark Horse Comic’s Navigator feels more hopeful than harrowing in a lot of ways. To be sure, it is fraught with some truly dazzling spaceship battles and emotionally heavy moments but that is to be expected with a book written by the Academy Award-winning visual effects artist John Bruno that is based on a story by himself, Ron Thornton, and Steve Burg and is illustrated by Jordi Armengol.

The creative team is like one of those supergroups from the 80s that pulls together a rad guitarist from this band and an epic singer from this band and then has some kinda random name like “Iron Super Rat” or something… they have a goofy name but they put out hits, and when it comes to science fiction comics I feel like Navigator is a hit for sure.

The story follows a non-earth native navigator who is kinda captured but is also kinda seeking sanctuary from other aliens after a battle on one of Jupiter’s moons. As a trade for giving AGOTUS (one of those names you can’t say with the human mouth so it stands for Alien Guest of the United States) asylum, AGOTUS helps humanity figure out a plan to defend itself (and in turn the greater galaxy and beyond) from this impending cosmic threat.

All of this is happening around a very human story about love, family, and reconciliation.

This is one of the most science fiction comics I think I have ever read. It’s got great starship and technology designs. The whole thing feels very practical and real in both the tone of the character’s reactions to these grand cosmic events and the logical evolutions of our place in the universe as we grow as a species. It’s easy for things to slip into Science Fantasy and while I love “Cosmic Wizards” and “Space Bigfoots” there is something to be said about really grounding your story even when it has fantastical elements and Navigator does just that. 

With stunning visuals and compelling storytelling, Navigator is another bright star in the sky of science fiction that will leave both film and comic fans surprised and delighted with every turn of the page.

Until next time, fill the space you occupy with kindness.






Welcome to the table, When I was a kid I spent a lot of time in casts from various surgeries.COMICONRead More

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