Writer: Jeff Lemire / Artist: Andrea Sorrentino / Image
After Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, and Dave Stewart finished their incredible run on Gideon Falls at the tail end of 2020, I was left in a state of awe of how the creative team came together to tell one of the most intriguing genre bending horror stories in any medium. The interwoven story of Father Fred and Norton Sinclair was an expertly crafted comic that kept readers guessing arc after arc while being visually captivating and enthralling in the best way possible. As such, it’s very hard not to be excited for the band to come back together for something that is both similar and very much not similar to the original.
Primordial is an alternate history sci-fi comic that opens with a simple year marker of 1959 and the image of the vast cosmos. A chimpanzee stares at the vast cosmos before Sorrentino decides to get incredibly weird with the visual images off the get. Here, Stewart flexes his ability to create a spot-on recreation of a retro-futurist color palette. The story then jumps forward two years and introduces us to our first human point of view character, Doctor Pembrook, a man with an impressive list of credentials who was expecting to work on building up the space shuttle program and has instead been ordered to shut it down and salvage any equipment.
Of course, Pembrook quickly discovers that not everything is as it seems in Cape Canaveral and has a lingering sensation of existential dread that is somehow conveyed both in the dialog and the art. This is something I continue to be impressed that Sorrentino is able to do so uniquely. Much like Gideon Falls before it, Lemire has an incredible knack for world-building. There is enough grounding of explicitly stated details that the intentionally vague and ephemeral details are more intriguing than anything. Lemire manages to cultivate a trust, even though we only have one small piece of the proverbial puzzle. I believe that over the course of each issue we’ll be satiated in our curiosity to discover what mysteries are behind the curtain.
And I could spend days going on and on about Sorrentino’s illustrations and Stewart’s colors. Whereas Gideon Falls was anchored in its precise and terrifying use of the color red, Primordial makes use of a much wider palette in conjunction with much more erratically defined images, appropriately for the cosmic horror that is bound to unwound.
All in all, sci-fi fans, Lemire fans, Sorrentino fans, Image fans, this is a must buy. This is an incredible start to a series and will be one that you’ll want to start and stay current with. I know I will be.
9.6 “Cardiograms” out of 10