COMIC REVIEW: Runners: The Big Snow Job

Hard times have fallen on Roka Nostaco and the smuggling crew of the Khoruysa Brimia. Tired of scraping by on small-time runs for petty criminals, they take on a big job to get back into the top tier of mob-level work. But high pay comes with high risk, and if the freezing climate of Planet Ciceron doesn’t kill them, the hostile native population might. Assuming they don’t all kill each other first! Success could put them back on track, but are they in the driver’s seat or just pawns in a much bigger double-cross?

Runners: The Big Snow Job is written and drawn by the annoyingly talented Sean Wang and chronicles the adventures of Roka Nostaco and his crew of smugglers, who will smuggle just about anything for a price. Now as any good sci-fi fan knows some of the best heroes/heroines exist in that grey ether between good and evil, in that regard Roka Nostaco and his team are no exception.

The way the Runners universe is set up everyone works for their own crime boss, without whom it’s pretty much impossible to find work or at least well paid work. At the end of the Volume 1: Bad Goods Roka and his crew, through a series of misadventures, found themselves short one crime boss to work for. I won’t say anymore in case you decide to go back and read volume one (which I reccomend). As this new story opens we find the gang, still fallen from criminal grace, trying to make ends meet. This leads them  to take on what they think is a simple job but as we all know ‘a simple job’ is anything but that.

Runners is an apt title for this series as the story moves along at a cracking pace, with sharp dialogue, interesting chartacters.  The humour is balanced well with the moment of drama so that neither feels forced with both seeking to complement the other. The crew dynamics of the Khoruysa Brimia work well and although a crew of space smugglers having intergalactic adventures isn’t an unquie idea when it’s done this well it doesn’t matter.

The story is backed up by some fantastic visuals epecially in the combat scenes where there’s a real sense of movement and action.  This time around we are treated to a bold full colour volume of Runners and I could be happier with Wang choice to do this. I loved the black and white first volume but seeing this second adventure in colour makes me wish for a special colour edition. Speaking of the previous volume I would strongly advise against picking up The Big Snow Job before you’ve read the previous story as it’s a great read and sets up the Runners universe perfectly. By the time you move onto this second volume you will love these space scallywags all the more.

You can see influences from Star Wars and although Runners was conceived before Firefly they are definitely cut from the same fine cloth of good storytelling. The other big plus for Runners is that like Star Wars this comic does a great job in transporting you another galaxy far far away. I get in films that sometimes it’s an easier and cheaper choice to set everything on earth or have loads of humans running around starships but in comics where your effects budget is limited only by your imagination there is no such barrier. Roka and his cohorts here are aliens full stop, even the humanoid guy on the team is an alien. It’s a refreshing thing to see and makes the story all the more interesting.

Runners: The Snow Job is a fast paced, light hearted sci-fi romp that I can not recommend enough.

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GS Rating:5/5
GS Reporter: Nuge

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