Mostly Spoiler Free Review
It’s been a while since there’s been a good alien abduction comic. Promethee 13:13 is a combination of an alien-abduction story and an end-of-the-world story. It’s listed as a psychological sci-fi horror story, which means there’s more fun coming for this comic in future issues. Issue #1 stands out on its own, though with mystery, action, and a serious X-Files vibe.
ABLAZE’s Promethee 13:13 is written by Andy Diggle and illustrated by Shawn Martinbrough and was released this past week on 6/6. The story follows Darla, who, as a child, was abducted by aliens and afterward had premonitions of the future. In her premonitions, Darla seems to have seen the end of life on earth via an invasion from the beings who abducted her. The title is a bit confusing or intimidating, but it seems to refer to the coming apocalypse event from Darla’s premonitions.
The story begins with Darla, now an adult, appearing on a talk show to speak about her abduction. The audience is filled with those wanting to hear about aliens, premonitions, and the apocalypse. Darla shocks the audience, though, when she tells them that there was no abduction and the premonitions are just part of her hallucinations. Darla and readers quickly learn that there is more to the story. Those close to Darla turn on her and reveal that not only was her experience real, but she is the key to possibly saving the planet from destruction.
The story is already brimming with conspiracy, twists, and turns in this first issue. It feels like The X-Files’ Scully trying to prove what she’s seen with science and coming up not only shocked but in danger. There seems to be some sort of abductor and a severe threat to the planet’s safety though the truth behind it all has yet to be revealed. While readers don’t know Darla well yet, it’s easy to feel her panic and confusion. She was a child victim of something utterly unbelievable and is now experiencing something just as frightening as an adult.
In her hallucinations, Darla mentions “13” repeatedly. Based on the title and synopsis of the story, it is telling of when exactly the world will end. On the comic’s final page, we learn the end of the world is only two days away on September 2019 at 13:13. What’s real, what’s simply made to look real, and either way, what can Darla do about it?
The writing in this story is fast-paced, but it delves into trauma and deeper issues that make the reader stop considering their gravity. The story so far touches on many different genres that combine to make the story exciting and impactful. While the initial abductors are mysterious and frightening, the human players that react to it and come after Darla are just as menacing. This winding nightmare will definitely contain more shocking and horrifying revelations and moments before it ends.
The straightforward and somewhat grounded art works well for this story’s genre. There is a reality to it that makes the story feel more drama than fantasy. It is like The Walking Dead in that it’s a comic book, but it’s a human story with real fear and emotions. The hallucinations, since thus far we haven’t discovered if they are real or not, stand in stark contrast to the rest of the comic’s panels. The terrifying depictions show a dark and desolate red apocalypse caused by seemingly unfeeling and domineering invaders. Hopefully, these will become more frequent as the story progresses.
This book was likely not on the radar of many readers. ABLAZE is a lesser-known publisher, and though Andy Diggle is attached to it, there hasn’t been an overwhelming amount of buzz before its release. This comic will definitely impress many unsuspecting readers. Promethee 13:13 is the 2019 Earth-based sci-fi mystery readers didn’t know they wanted to be frightened by and engrossed in. The comic may not have the most inviting or memorable title, but the story promises to make up for it. Promethee 13:13 scores 4 out of 5 alien invaders and is recommended for fans of The X-Files, The War of The Worlds, and conspiracies.