This article is part of the Super Backer Digi-Mag which is covered solely by the Soda and Telepaths editing team. Super Backer is a bi-monthly digital magazine which reports exclusively on Kickstarter Campaigns. You can subscribe to Super Backer by heading here.
If the idea of peering through a military space operation lens to gaze upon a science fiction epic that challenges societal norms in the same vein as Babylon 5, Alien Nation and The Expanse then strap yourself in as we delve deep into the series created by Chris Moses and a revolving door of artistic talent.
The Harrowing Construct of The Saturn Effect
The Saturn Effect: Alpha takes us deep into a universe consumed by the need to define job and gender roles. As we’re introduced to each individual character we quickly discover that each of them are defined by all too familiar tropes and race/assignments. While Moses and his team are consumed in introducing us to a vast and rich future – there’s a harrowing construct not unlike the predestination bullshit that Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca introduced us to back in ‘97.
There’s a ruling class of purists, a mutant sub-species because they just so happen to be mutants because reasons, aliens (of course), and the large shadow that Earth casts over an overwhelming lower class of minorities. Think the psycho-political conundrums of The Expanse but with more intriguing creatures populating each panel of Moses’ creation and less human vs human melodrama. Yes, this is where the Star Wars meets The Expanse comparison could easily be applied if I was a lazy reviewer. With less organised religious mysticism in play as the unsolicited and unseen character.
Thematically, Cyberpunk is just as present as Science-Fantasy
Chris Moses does an interesting job at genuinely applying the rules of his inspirations to this vast world building experiment of his. It’s not Star Wars or The Expanse and yet somehow it is. With each panel you’ll feel drowned by an overwhelming cavalcade of sci-fi tropes and sub-genre paraphernalia. Thematically, cyberpunk is just as present as science-fantasy. Though, that doesn’t mean you should hit pause on that latest Perturbator record.
Hell, turn it up a notch or better still- pay a dodgy internet drone on Fiver to remix the orchestral ramblings of a John Williams soundtrack to the beats of any Dark Wave artist and you’re vibing to the tone of The Saturn Effect. That’ll be $19.99 – PayPal only.
The celebrations on the aptly named Hero Day which are interrupted by an attack are what prompts my comparison to the likes of Babylon 5 and The Expanse. Not to mention the political meandering which at times feels like too much but does serve to move the story along in some fashion. What follows is a gradual destabilisation in the overall political makeup of the Saturn Effect world. You have interracial relationships questioning their relevance to one another, privileged characters doing what they can to safeguard peace, factions of pure going to war with the unclean (mutants) because their very existence effects their status quo. I could go on but I’ve probably spoiled enough.
A science fiction opus written with a unique understanding of what science fiction commentary can achieve.
All in all, Chris Moses has mapped out the entire series of The Saturn Effect rather superbly. He’s managed to achieve a level of movement and story progression with each page which feels like a slow burn and a quick read all at the same time. A juggling act not to be truffled with and this is thanks to the editors on the project. What’s interesting overall is in working with these different artists (Francesco D. Mazzoli, Marco d’ Alessandro, Ricardo Cecchi, Christian Wolf, James Offredi), Moses has managed to keep the entire storyline succinct and consistent with the mood. A tough act when dealing with so many creative personnel.
The Saturn Effect – Volume 1 closes on many questions postulated, themes explored and action sequences enjoyed. This is a science fiction opus written with a unique understanding of what science fiction commentary can achieve. Why it is still, to this day, a relevant mode of genre storytelling. It traverses the genre fiction model just as this story traverses the standard run of the mill Kickstarter campaign grind. A thinking man (or woman’s) science fiction epic to be enjoyed throughout space and time.
Have I convinced you to support Saturn Effect – Alpha?
Check out The Saturn Effect Kickstarter which collects the first volume and let me know what you thought of this review on social media.