‘Indigo Prime’ is essentially a collection of three stories from ‘2000AD’, built up from work writer John Smith did back in 1991 and returned to here in 2008, so I’m running kind of blind to what happened then as I missed those stories. Can I work it out solely from this graphic novel? In the introduction, Smith explains that he uses the opening story, ‘Dead Eyes’, as an explanation as to how it all began, so that might be a maybe if you’re seeking an origin story.
There is a lot going on when people are selected for an experiment to give psionic abilities and then literally put on ice until they are needed. Must have saved paying them I suppose. Somewhere into this mix, they are primed to enter a city of Neanderthals under Stonehenge and that UFO lights are not really that but the means of travelling between dimensions. It’s hinted far more on the back cover that this is more to do with inter-dimensional pathways but this is the origin and the layers of plot are still being unravelled.
Artist Lee Carter relies on earth colours for his illustrations and although the work is fine as far as it goes, nearly all of the time, his characters are shown close-mouthed and so lack any emotional content that could helped the dialogue which, to my mind, is extremely wasted opportunity to have further layered to the story.
Just in case writer John Smith thinks I’m not going to pick fault. Assuming his Stonehenge is actually in Wiltshire, there are other UK military airfields a lot closer than Lossiemouth, which is in Scotland, to launch an aircraft attack from.
The second story, ‘Everything And More’, digs deeper into the inter-dimensional activities, chucking in literally the title as the CERN discovery of the Higgs’ Particle goes kinda wild and the team is being introduced and being introduced. I’m still not much wiser but getting to know the characters.
In contrast to the first story, Edmund Bagwell’s art is a lot lighter, blending yellow and green into the earth colours and making for a less darker look.
The third and final story, ‘Anthropocalypse’, is supposed to be getting back into the swing of things and sorting out a discrepancy in the multiverse, I think. It’s a bit convoluted and I think you really do need to know a bit more about what is going on. If anything, the under-currents would make more sense if it was seen that they were all heading towards the same goal. None of this is helped by the ending which suggests that there is more to come and the break is in mid-story.
Unlike other 2000AD volumes I’ve read, there’s no noticeable indication of where the breaks are in the original comicbook. In other circumstances, this might make for a cohesive whole. With ‘Indigo Prime’, even with the everyman character, Danny Redman, as a way into understanding the group, he’s not always there and you’re really left to wonder over the significance of Miriah who can telepathically link realities. Spacesick Steve and rebel Doctor Raymond March coming back to the fold. I suspect a lot more was given back in the 1991 tales.
Read with caution and be grateful you live in a relatively stable reality.
(pub: 2000AD. 160 page graphic novel. Price: £14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78108-111-2)
check out website: www.2000adonline.com