- Writer: Damian S Simankowicz
- Art: Damian S Simankowicz
- Publisher: Primal Archetype
- Release Date: November 4, 2015
For anyone not in the know, the Sage Escape series revolves around the titular Sage – a human with cybernetic implants and other adjustments – and her quest to stop the impending genocide of the human race and undermine the wide, wide reach of Friendly Corp and their cyborg soldiers, the Salesmen Assassins. The plot sounds like something that is just weird enough to wind up with a SyFy Channel movie.
With Sage Escape: Equinox #3, we get the conclusion of the series’ Equinox arc. Imogen Cray has just destroyed the final remnants of the human race and she’s set to celebrate with Honey (the blonde she’s kissing on the cover of the issue) and the rest of her team – including an obviously undercover Sage. Of course, the celebrations don’t last for long because after Sage reunites with her team on the Thantos, one of the first things that they do is put together a plan to undo everything Imogen Cray has done after becoming a Salesman Assassin.
And step one?
They have to get back on Imogen’s ship and fight their way through hordes of Salesmen Assassins and the rest of Imogen’s team before Sage can be sent back in time through a portal.
Sure, it isn’t the best plan out there, but with Imogen set to take over multiple universes, Sage and her allies don’t exactly have a ton of options. Now, without spoiling the actual ending, let’s just say that even though Sage’s plan didn’t work as well as she wanted, you’re probably going to like what does happen because it gets you nice and hyped for the next part of the Sage Escape saga: Transhuman.
Now, here’s the thing about Sage Escape: Equinox‘s final issue (and the series as a whole, to be fair): it’s hard to get past the art.
Here we have a really cool, lady led science fiction drama and it’s something that could get overlooked because the art doesn’t really work.
Simankowicz does his best work on the tech and backgrounds because those are glorious. Really, his vision of this futuristic universe really pops due to his work on the backgrounds and the technology that his characters use and interact with.
However, the look of the characters in the actual comic leaves a lot to be desired.
Some of the characters are well rendered throughout but there are some serious differences in the way that a female character like Kedves looks in the comic and how a character like Adruh – with his flat features and oddly drawn eyes – looks throughout the comic. Generally, the ladies in the comic are drawn with a bit more life to them than the men which is fine but doesn’t exactly make for an enjoyable experience.
There are also issues in just the general art style. There’s one panel on a page where Sage is walking down a hallway on Imogen Cray’s ship and honestly, it looks like she doesn’t have a left leg from the knee down. Sometimes characters that are supposed to be running or fighting look like they’re frozen in place with little help from the art. These are little things, but they do add up.
The quality and style of the art is a huge draw when looking for comics to read and the art in Sage Escape: Equinox #3 will not work for everyone.
Despite the fact that the art didn’t click, Sage Escape: Equinox kind of wins points because there aren’t a ton of lady-led science fiction comics out there with this kind of world building and intricate, twisty plot. (Seriously, the plot is super easy to get invested in!)
On top of that, Simankowicz gives us a well-designed but dark future that is diverse in many significant ways (LGBT representation and characters that are coded as/actually are characters of color stand out at the top) and that is important. The world of Sage Escape has promise and Equinox #3 wraps up the current arc well enough while leaving readers ready and eager for the next story arc.
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