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Antares Vol.2: Episode 2
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a European comic album that I found in my local library. The 46-page comic story is part of an ongoing serial by the Brazilian artist/writer Leo. It is a low-key story, in that there are no spectacular space battles, hostile aliens or other Hollywood or pulp SF activities (though there is the odd mysterious alien, and many dangerous animals); it is about colonisation and exploration, with some politics and a lot of emotional and social interaction thrown in. Antares is the third serial in this series, the others being Aldebaran and Betelgeuse, with three volumes each (in the English-language edition). This story begins some time after the previous volume. Kim, our heroine, has returned to Earth, and is lobbying the UN to maintain an embassy of sorts on Betelgeuse, to maintain contact with the Mantrises who live there, now that the Earth colony has been withdrawn from there. Her friends Alexa and Mark, who stole a spaceship to rescue her from Betelgeuse have been sentenced to prison terms on Aldebaran, the only other Earth colony, while Mr Pad has gone into hiding to escape a similar fate. Meanwhile, an expedition has been sent to Antares to evaluate its potential for colonisation. The three explorers have been emphasising the good points and skating over the bad points of the world in their reports to their backers, ‘Forward Enterprises’, who are secretly motivated by a religious sect who want to create a colon for themselves. The explorers have filmed a strange phenomenon, and have reported it back to Earth. Forward Enterprises need to boost support for their venture, so hire Kim to go on it as a public relations exercise. She is reluctant, but the corporation will get Alexa and Mark released from prison to go on the expedition, which will go in the refurbished ‘Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’, now rescued from Betelgeuse, which will be commanded by its former captain, Leilah Nakad, also rescued from Betelgeuse. It will take two years to prepare the expedition, so Kim returns to Betelgeuse, where she has a baby, apparently fathered by the alien she met on Betelgeuse. Meanwhile (again), the original explorers on Antares have discovered a miniature robotic device spying on them…

This second volume has two parts, the first being the voyage itself, as the characters discover the presence of the religious fanatics amongst the colonists and command staff; and the second being the landing on Antares, where, naturally enough something goes wrong, and our usual suspects find themselves separated from the main colony. They also discover some stowaways hidden in the cargo bays, and there is more and more evidence for high-tech surveillance being carried out on the planet.

I am certainly looking forward to reading the rest of this series, as soon as my local library can get hold of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Episode 2 of the Antares story starts off in a claustrophobic spaceship journeying towards the planet, with all sorts of issues including religious bigots and rape squads. It doesn't get much better on the planet as one disaster follows another. Still, Kim looks as luscious as usual and some of the nasty creatures rival those found originally on Alderbaran. We are left with something of a cliff-hanger as well with regards to Kim's half alien daughter Lynn. As usual this series overall combines lush alien worlds with fantastic human characters and their loves and emotional lives.
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