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Book of the Year!? We'll take it. Thanks Chris!

Book of the Year!? We'll take it. Thanks Chris!


Review: Rift Raiders from Kickstart Comics

Pulled from

by Chris Hansbrough December 14, 2010

I’ve been a big fan of Mark Sable as a comic writer for a long time. From the unbelievable Grounded to working with DC on titles like his Cyborg miniseries, his work has never failed to impress me. So when I first saw pages of a book he was doing for a fledgling comic company called Kickstart Comics, which turned out to be Rift Raiders, I couldn’t help but want to read the whole thing. Would his re-teaming with his artistic collaborator from BOOM! Studios’ Unthinkable lead him to having another fantastic title? Click on through to find out.

Oh my Science this book is easily one of the most fun and energetic books I’ve read in a long time. I’ll go out and say it’s easily the best work Mark Sable has ever produced and is quite possibly, my book of the year. You heard me, BOOK … OF … THE … YEAR.

Mark really rises to the occasion by being the launching point for Kickstart Comics, and I have to say that if this is the quality of work I can expect from the company, then you might as well put me down for absolutely everything they will put out. I simply adored everything about the way this story was told. It manages to be a time travel story filled with jumps, yet you never get lost in the plot, which revolves around a group of orphans who each ended up with parts to a device that let them travel through time stealing historical objects for an old man known only as The Fence.

Each of the characters manages to have a distinct personality while fitting in to traditional character roles in surprising ways. You have the central character, Dodger, a smart and charismatic kid who fancies himself the greatest thief in the world. Accompanying him is the self professed greatest warrior of all time in Layla, who manages to be a straight up badass from start to finish, and Miles, the big haired black kid with a mind for science. Rounding out the cast of kids is Sikes, the bully of the orphanage run by unrepentant douchebag extraordinaire, Casimir.

The book manages to really juggle multiple themes and plots brilliantly over it’s 96 pages. It really is the perfect length for the book as it is a complete and dense read that you can finish in one sitting, and you probably will, but it also has natural break points which allow you to put the book down if you have to.

I’ve spent far too long talking about the writing though. I really have to stop and give credit to the amazing job that Julian Totino Tedesco and Juanmanuel Tumburus did in bringing this book to life. I first saw Julian’s work on the fantastic BOOM Studios book Unthinkable (Conveniently also written by Mark Sable) and while I was impressed then, the work here takes it to a whole new level that left me more than impressed. There’s solid storytelling as well as a kinetic energy and the most scientifically amazing splash page I’ve seen in a good long while.

So really, do I even have to put a grade at the end of this? Do yourself a favor and go buy it… like now! You won’t regret it. I give it the highest grade possible and really more than hope it’s not the end of this adventure.