Presenting the first two chapters of “S.E.E.D.S.” (abbreviated from Survival Enemy Epidemic Death Sacrifice), Scott Kolins offers a whole new universe to explore in “Adam.3” #1. With a widescreen format, Kolins handles all of the writing and art chores with an assist from Michael Heisler on letters.
Kolins introduces the world and many of its inhabitants by way of brief encounters, mostly centered around Adam, the titular star of this story. Adam serves as the hub for spokes that branch out into a blend of science fiction and fantasy concepts, with a fairly obvious influence from Jack Kirby. Adam and his son, Beo, open the tale under the watchful eye of a satellite. That satellite monitors Adam and his surroundings, providing technological aid and advice while also serving the story as Kolins sees fit.
The story itself is a familiar tale of uncomfortable reunion as Adam and Beo try to adjust to life with one another on what is apparently Adam’s birthday (or, as noted in the story, “bornday”). Minor adjustments to terms, such as the swap out of “birthday” to “bornday” or “Let’s all just take a breeze” instead of “breath,” project the variation Kolins tries to present in this story and the readers’ own existence. It is clear Kolins wants things to be foreign and different, but he provides enough contextual clues for readers to divine meaning without needing a thesaurus. In some cases, the swaps are subtle; in others, it’s more intense; and, in still others, it almost seems like it’s missing.
The end result is a world with defined parameters, with Kolins providing context to readers throughout the adventure. It also helps that Kolins doesn’t filter this through another artist or co-writer. This is pure Scott Kolins, creating the adventures of “Adam.3” #1 and sharing them with readers.
Kolins’ art is animated and lively, much as readers familiar with the artist might expect. He tinkers with some Kirby-esque concepts, like squared fingers and obnoxiously intense foreshortening, but his style remains true and the storytelling is smooth. Adam has a Tarzan-by-way-of-Pacific-islands vibe. Beo has a more intense appearance, with savage, red eyes and a necklace of predatory fangs. Skye, Adam’s partner, is more refined, clad in a shimmering yellow dress with hair to match. Kolins elects to use a softer outline for the yellow, which occasionally results in some of Skye’s body parts appearing to float, but the cast of characters is distinct, diverse and instantly recognizable.
The wilderness of the island he inhabits is lush and vibrant. The wildlife is both familiar and slightly bizarre, with Adam’s critter companion Mojo looking like a donkey crossed with a wolf. Bears, eagles, frog, elephants and other animals speckle the pages of “Adam.3” #1, and Kolins uses intense colors for all of them, the island and the cast.
“Adam.3” #1 is a bold step in a new direction. Kolins provides a quick introduction to the cast and the world but wastes little time in setting the table. Readers are invited in for the journey and are shown early on just how intense and invigorating this new world can be.