Scarlet Traces: The Great Game

 

Written by Ian Edginton, illustrated by D’Israeli

Dark Horse Comics; $2.99 per issue

In a world where an abortive Martian invasion was just the start, the most dangerous thing is an old secret. Writer Ian Edginton (Scarlet Traces, Kingdom of the Wicked) and artist D’Israeli’s (Lazarus Churchyard, Scarlet Traces, Kingdom of the Wicked) Scarlet Traces: The Great Game comic miniseries picks up 40 years after the 2003 original.

It’s the late 1930s, the first World War (as well as the second) were never fought because of Great Britain’s supreme technological advantage lifted from the hulls of Martian invasion forces. Britain is an oppressive state à la 1984, and photo-journalist Lady Charlotte Hemming for London’s The Interceptor paper has the scoop of the century. With the guidance of the now elderly fallen hero of the previous installment of the series, Robert Autumn, Charlotte is off to Mars to find the worst secret yet.

Edginton’s writing is superb, keeping a mystery from untangling completely. The dialogue is quick and brash, and the pacing never feels too slow or rushed. D’Israeli’s art is, as always, a visual treat, and seeing his blending of things like spacesuits and WWI wide-brimmed tin hats makes the concept seem more concrete.

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