MILES FROM NOWHERE #1, written by Corey Mitchel and illustrated by Chris Blackstock, has an incredible premise — one of the best I’ve heard in a while. Even still, the story was missing something, but that didn’t destroy the experience of reading it to prepare this sponsored review.

Briefly, the story starts when a space-faring prisoner transport ship crashes over Nowhere, New Mexico. This sudden influx of ne’er-do-wells brings Deep Field Marshall LuSaana Gen to Nowhere to eliminate the criminals. In particular, she’s looking for Solomon Martini, a man with some connection to Nowhere. Martini himself is looking for Miles Foster, a small-town cop that is somehow connected to the criminal. In this way, a very normal Earthling enters a very deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

Miles Foster gets distracted, witnessing the transport ship crash. Image courtesy of Nowhere Comics.

Strong, Mysterious, and Deadly Characters Carry the Story

What MILES FROM NOWHERE #1 does very well is emphasize the deadly aspect of two of its three main characters. The first issue takes most of its space showing the danger of Gen and Martini before putting Foster right in the middle of the two.

After Foster’s motorcycle accident, the book opens with the looming specter of Deep Field Marshall LuSaana Gen. Like a cross between the Terminator and The Bride, Gen is ruthless in pursuing her quarry through whatever means necessary. Those “means” manifest in a sci-fi pistol that rips holes through organic and inorganic substance alike.

On the other hand, Martini is presented as a calculating man, who uses violence for intimidation. In one of the better scenes of the book, we see Martini shake down a citizen of Nowhere, turning the braggart’s boldness against him. Martini’s willingness to threaten destruction but ultimately stop sets up a nice counterpoint to Gen.

And then, in the middle, is Miles Foster, the story’s eponymous protagonist. Foster investigates some of Gen’s handiwork before checking out of the story to pursue his own goals. In the final act he gets caught in the crossfire between Gen and Martini — and gets to show what he is made of.

Yet for as brave as Foster can be in the face of danger, I still felt like his scenes in the book were a little downplayed. Because he is the link between two very powerful characters, it would have been useful to see him discover this throughout the issue, rather than at the end. A simple switch giving Foster more spoken lines — say, during the investigation of the parts Gen left for the police to find — could have elevated his character to equal footing with Gen and Martini. This is the “something missing.”

The Art Uses the Background to Tell the Story

But like I said, even if the lack of tension was a little jarring, each individual scene came together well. Mitchel gives equal footing to moments of action and moments of contemplation. Yet even if the words weren’t there, the art would be able to tell the story, too. Even though this is Chris Blackstock’s first comic, he did phenomenally.

For starters, there’s his ability to show characterization. Most of the time, this means just being able to draw different postures, expressions, and personality quirks into the character. Blackstock does this, by and large. What he also does, however, is give relevance to objects with which the characters interact. Be it a bat, a slice of pie, or a part of a person’s body (attached or unattached), the characters respond to and play with the scenery. And in playing with the props on display, the reader learns what the character values or fears.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention Michael Atiyeh’s color work. For example, in the final gunfight of the comic, the background skies are shaded in swirling splashes of orange and ochre. This unspecified night sky looks and moves like fire and adds to the chaos of the scene. There’s a lot to love about the artwork of MILES FROM NOWHERE #1.

A representative example of Blackstock and Atiye’s work. Image courtesy of Nowhere Comics.

Final Thoughts on MILES FROM NOWHERE #1

In the end, there are more things to love about MILES FROM NOWHERE #1 than nitpick. Mitchel knows how to set up a great premise that makes me want to invest in the series. Furthermore, I want to see more of Blackstock’s art — his art is not just sequential images but excellent story-telling, too. And on an even lighter note, I’m curious to see more of Atiyeh’s color choices for internal organs!

Foster — with this image from the promo art — looks to have quite a story coming up. Image courtesy of Nowhere Comics.

Thus MILES FROM NOWHERE #1 starts with an engaging story that purports a series sure to be full of intrigue. Although it took me a few reads to understand the story, those rereads were an enjoyable process. This is decent work, and now that the first issue has set the stage, I’m sure MILES FROM NOWHERE #2 will be great.

If MILES FROM NOWHERE #1 strikes your space battle fancy, be sure to pick up a copy here! And be sure to catch up quick! MILES FROM NOWHERE #2 will answer all your burning questions when it releases on Comixology this October 17th!

MILES FROM NOWHERE #1 by Corey Mitchel (writer), Chris Blackstock (artist), Michael Atiyeh (colorist), and Jason Levine (letters)
MILES FROM NOWHERE #1, written by Corey Mitchel and illustrated by Chris Blackstock, has an incredible premise — one of the best I’ve heard in a while. Yet after my first reading, it lacked the dramatic tension I would have expected from such a strong story concept. Nevertheless, the art, characterization, and individual story arcs deliver a solid performance that makes me eager to see future installments in the series.
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