Review - We Only Find Them When They’re DeadComic Reviews 

Review – We Only Find Them When They’re Dead

Review - We Only Find Them When They’re Dead

Review – We Only Find Them When They’re Dead

Story by Al Ewing

Art by Simone Di Meo

Colours by Simone Di Meo, Mariasara Miotti

Letters by AndWorld Design

Cover by Simone di Meo

Publisher BOOM! Studios

Length:112 Pages

Release Date 2021-05-11

Collects Issues #1 – #6



Captain Malik and the crew of the spaceship the Vihaan II are searching for the only resources that matter – and can only be found by harvesting the giant corpses of alien gods found on the edge of human space. While other autopsy ships and explorers race to salvage the meat, minerals, and metals that sustain the human race, Malik sees an opportunity to finally break free from this system: by being the first to find a living god. But Malik’s obsession with the gods will push his crew into the darkest reaches of space, bringing them face to face with a threat unlike anything they ever imagined, unless the rogue agent on their trail can stop them first… Superstars Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk) and Simone Di Meo (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) present a new sci-fi epic about the search for meaning and the hard choices we make to find it, no matter the cost to the world – or universe – around us. Collects We Only Find Them When They’re Dead #1-5

Review - We Only Find Them When They’re Dead

Story by Al Ewing

In Guardians of the Galaxy first movie the new escaped criminals flee to Nowhere, a massive floating head of a dead celestial being, or god, which even thousands of year later has become a mining colony where precious fluid is extracted and sold.

Ewing takes this bizarre idea one stage further. In a galaxy where the human race has stripped all the assets that they can from planets, the only resource left in the outreaches of space are colossal planet-sized dead gods. They are always beautiful and they are always dead. Armada’s of autopsy ships arrive and claim different parts of the body to dissect and send back to earth. To stop a black market the ships are policed and the punishments are severe.

On the autopsy ship Vihaan II, weary captain Georges Malik has been obsessed with the dead gods since he first saw one at the age of four. His crew of four are Ella Hauer the coroner, her brother Jason the engineer, Alice Wirth the quartermaster and Georges Malik pilots. They each work to get a fair share of the bounty but a terrible secret from Malik’s past will put his crew on a collision course with a fanatical escort Paula Richter.

Over the five issues included in this collected TPB, we find a story filled with captain Ahabs all chasing their own white whales. Malik seeks a living god to make his life and existence more than it is, Richter is obsessed with punishing Malik for the death of her fiancé and the crew is obsessed with getting money, resources or fame.

As the story arcs, we flash back and forth (sometimes in each panel) to key events such as the first time he saw a dead god, the loss of his family in a collision with Richter, his decision to “run” with a cargo to find a living god and how he persuaded the crew to go along with him.

The writing has a rhythm to it, like a wave moving back and forward but pushing the story forward.

As we reach the final two issues the crew are fleeing through warp space pursued by Richter and we find out the terrible secret of the rivalry between the pair. The shocking find of a living God will change all of their lives and not all will survive the encounter.

Ewing’s writing in this collected version shows a better, more cohesive arc than the individual issues which feel too short and only jump the plot forward in small limps.

Review - We Only Find Them When They’re Dead

Artwork/Colouring by Simone Di Meo/Mariasara Miotti

Di Meo creates a stunning expanse in these issues and the small and pettiness of the humans pale beside the beautifully designed gods. Watching them get asset-stripped over a few pages is horrifying, with any awe and reverence for them turned into meat, fluids and metals. The message, that humans destroy all that we find seems relevant today with the climate emergency. Miotti’s neon panels flash between glorious greens, yellows, reds and are shockingly bright against the blackness of space.

Di Meo employs a CGI technique to give the whole comic a 3D effect, with exhaust trails, lasers and even the gods falling into and out of the pages in the depth of space. The manga like drawings of the cast of the book are slightly out of step with the backgrounds and visuals but not enough to distract.

Overall Thoughts

This reimaging of the classic Moby Dick works on all levels, with Richter’s obsession with Malik and his with finding a live god destroying everything around them. It’s bizarre but at the same point relatable, you get the distinct feeling you’ve read this before.

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Michael Lennox

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T'was a cold dark night in East Kilbride... and below the roundabouts, something old and ancient began to shudder awake. The world would rue the day that it gave the Green Jaguar comics to read!

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