Zendra 2.0: Heart of Fire #1

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2002
By: Darren Schroeder

Writer(s): Stuart Moore
Artist(s): Martin Montiel (p), J.C. Buelna (i)
Publishers: Penny Farthing Press

A woman who wears very little clothing (Halle) fights really well, has a tiff with a brash male friend and tries to learn how to be in two places at once from a race of super beings who have trouble with forming coherent sentences.

Mixing science fiction with soap opera isn't necessarily a bad thing to do, but the important thing to do is making sure the soap opera is an interesting one. That usually requires having a cast of characters that grab the audience’s attention. You might not have to particularly like any of them, but you want to see where events in their lives lead. The only attempt this book makes to get someone interested in its goings on is to dress the main character in a fashion that any teenage boy will drool over.

Following on from the events of the first mini series, we find the gifted but boring survivors of the human race hiding out on the beautiful planet Zendra, trying to avoid all the nasty self-replicating space probes that are searching for them. The earthlings fail miserably in these attempts so we get to see a rather dull battle, then have an argument as Halle tries to point out that just 'cause she lacks huge amounts of testosterone and big boots, that doesn't mean she can't kick alien butt. The dialogue isn't actually that bad, full discussions on the danger of the situation and mystical gobbledegook from the wise aliens. Halle is a very serious minded character, but I guess being a genetically engineered mutant forced to fight for your life kind of focuses your attention.

The art department do their job admirably. Apart from the ridiculously skimpy attire of the humans (maybe they are descended from the cast of Baywatch?) and a tendency for women to have improbably long legs, the visuals in this book are okay to the eye, with some rather cool technology on display and some nice laser effects in the battle scenes. It is therefore a shame they didn't have a better plot to support them. Then again, they are the ones insuring that we keep seeing Halle's buttocks and crotch, just in case we forget she is a woman. This kind of thing is kind of insulting to the readers (I can remember that sort of plot point after about two views) and the characters as well.

In a Word: 2-star.

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