Siberia 56 (Siberia 56 #1-3)
by Christophe Bec, Alexis Sentenac
Trapped on a planet millions of light years away from Earth, five scientists must survive sub-zero temperatures and horrific alien creatures as they make their way across the dead, frozen landscape to their base in this action-packed graphic novel.
It is the age of space exploration, and five scientists travel 80 million light years from home to study the planet of Siberia, the location of Earth’s 56th colony. Completely covered with dense snow and steep mountains, Siberia’s poles reach temperatures of -300° F with icy winds of close to 200 mph.
After their shuttle crashes, the surviving scientists must walk across hundreds of miles of frozen wasteland to find the terrain basecamp. Between the biting cold, devastating snow storms, and horrific alien creatures, their chances of survival are close to absolute zero. In Siberia 56, author Christophe Bec imagines a hostile and fascinating world that harkens to the very best of the science fiction and horror genres. Superbly illustrated by Alexis Sentenac, this stunning work offers a chilling tale of survival in the vast recesses of a dying planet.
Story 3 of 5 Stars
Artwork 4 of 5 Stars
What pulled me to this graphic novel at first was the style of art on the cover. I love the colors and the way it looks painted. I’m not sure what medium the illustrator used but I found myself examining quite a few frames to see how I could do something similar with watercolor. This was especially true for the landscapes which featured a lot of ice, snow, and rock. I also enjoyed the scenes which depicted a lot of space – I thought those were done really well. Unlike the artwork devoted to the environment, I was kind of back and forth with the way the characters were portrayed. I appreciated that it wasn’t cartoony and admired how well it was done. I liked certain frames but disliked others, especially those that got a lot darker.
Story wise, this was just okay for me. The alternating timeline confused me on a few occasions which made it difficult to get fully immersed in the story. Violence starts fairly early in this graphic novel and I think it would have had more impact for me personally if I’d gotten to know the characters a little more before some of them died. As for the ending, I’m still really confused by it. I expected more loose ends which would lead to future volumes in the series but there really aren’t many. I am not sure if there will be more for the series or not but I’d be willing to read them if there are.
Overall I enjoyed this far more for the artwork than the story though I did enjoy both. If you are a fan of graphic novels with a space exploration theme and don’t mind a little blood and guts this is a great graphic novel to try.
Big thanks to Insight Editions and NetGalley for providing me an advanced readers copy of this graphic novel in exchange for my honest review.