World War X: Helius is a handsome little ditty of a comic, fusing crisp, energetic artwork with a tale that intrigues almost too much for its own good. The year is 2017, and mankind has finally made its way to inhabiting the moon. However, mankind’s reach to the stars may turn out to be its undoing, as the crew of a moon-based construction site, tasked with piecing together a decades-old mission, accidentally awaken a deadly alien civilisation. Seemingly unprepared for this onslaught, our hero, Apesh, sets forth to save his estranged sweetheart, but there are even deeper mysteries awaiting him…
There are times when Helius feels more like a standalone, sci-fi short film than the first chapter of a graphic novel series, but that doesn’t dampen the novel at all. It’s the kind of comic where everything is done at full throttle. The story blasts off immediately, delivering danger within the first three pages, and characters are thrown head-first into the ensuing storm that masquerades as the story.
Peter Snejbjerg’s artwork and Jerry Frissen’s script match each other with the speed and adrenaline of Captain America and Iron Man going head-to-head, and both make sure the audience is left as breathless as they are entertained. In the space of fifty pages, we traverse through multiple countries, time-zones and planets, with barely any time to keep still. Even in its quieter moments, there’s some rather tasty tension, more than enough to whet appetites for a second volume.
World War X: Helius is nothing overly unique, but it’s still a fun read evoking classic sci-fi with its story and themes. It may even develop into something more dramatic, action-packed and suspenseful as further volumes are produced.