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Primordial

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Mind-bending sci-fi and Cold War thriller collide in this 6-issue series by the bestselling, Eisner-winning creative team behind GIDEON FALLS! In 1957, the USSR made history by launching a dog named Laika into Earth’s orbit. Two years later, the USA responded with two monkeys, Able and Baker. These animals never returned. But unbeknownst to everyone, they did not die in or Mind-bending sci-fi and Cold War thriller collide in this 6-issue series by the bestselling, Eisner-winning creative team behind GIDEON FALLS! In 1957, the USSR made history by launching a dog named Laika into Earth’s orbit. Two years later, the USA responded with two monkeys, Able and Baker. These animals never returned. But unbeknownst to everyone, they did not die in orbit…they were taken. And now they are coming home. Collects PRIMORDIAL #1-6


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Mind-bending sci-fi and Cold War thriller collide in this 6-issue series by the bestselling, Eisner-winning creative team behind GIDEON FALLS! In 1957, the USSR made history by launching a dog named Laika into Earth’s orbit. Two years later, the USA responded with two monkeys, Able and Baker. These animals never returned. But unbeknownst to everyone, they did not die in or Mind-bending sci-fi and Cold War thriller collide in this 6-issue series by the bestselling, Eisner-winning creative team behind GIDEON FALLS! In 1957, the USSR made history by launching a dog named Laika into Earth’s orbit. Two years later, the USA responded with two monkeys, Able and Baker. These animals never returned. But unbeknownst to everyone, they did not die in orbit…they were taken. And now they are coming home. Collects PRIMORDIAL #1-6

30 review for Primordial

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    As part of the Space Race, Soviet scientists sent into space Laika the dog in 1957 and American scientists did the same to a pair of monkeys, Able and Miss Baker, in 1959. But they didn’t die! Something saved them. And made them smarter. And now they’re coming back to Earth… Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, the creative team behind Gideon Falls, are back with a new book, Primordial, and, like Gideon Falls unfortunately, it’s not very good. The premise has a lot of potential but Lemire disappoi As part of the Space Race, Soviet scientists sent into space Laika the dog in 1957 and American scientists did the same to a pair of monkeys, Able and Miss Baker, in 1959. But they didn’t die! Something saved them. And made them smarter. And now they’re coming back to Earth… Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, the creative team behind Gideon Falls, are back with a new book, Primordial, and, like Gideon Falls unfortunately, it’s not very good. The premise has a lot of potential but Lemire disappointingly doesn’t do anything with it. The entire mystery behind the aliens and explaining why these animals were saved is never explained. Laika, Able and Miss Baker were all real animals used in the Space Race, and those dates above are factual - everything after that though is Lemire taking readers on an alternate history timeline with Nixon beating JFK, the Cold War going nuclear, etc. - but why? It’s just alternate history for no real reason that has any impact on the story, plot or meaning-wise. The story is so basic: it’s the animals wanting to return home, or at least the monkeys go along with it because Laika wants to and, conveniently, Laika’s owner is just about still alive. Six issues for that? Yeesh. Still, the alien angle allows Sorrentino to give the reader some really trippy visuals that are genuinely amazing to look at, complemented well by Dave Stewart’s colours. The alien ship design though is a mess and for no reason the Donald Pembrook character looks exactly like Will Smith. I suppose the friendship between Laika and Able is sweet but that ending - really the entire book - is so underwhelming and forgettable. If Lemire wasn’t cranking out an entire book every other week he might write something that’s worth reading but, given the speed that he’s throwing these scripts out, it’s no wonder they’re so half-baked - Primordial is another unimpressive Lemire dud.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    A book that, on first reading, feels like it's more than it actually is. A book that feels like it's moving, but there is no destination. Lemire throws a couple of genres in a blender and none of them totally work. There's a conspiracy thriller, that skips the drip drip of information and dread that is an essential part of the genre, and just ends up feeling rushed. The main character (or what seems like the main character) makes choices that feel unrealistic and jumps through several locations a A book that, on first reading, feels like it's more than it actually is. A book that feels like it's moving, but there is no destination. Lemire throws a couple of genres in a blender and none of them totally work. There's a conspiracy thriller, that skips the drip drip of information and dread that is an essential part of the genre, and just ends up feeling rushed. The main character (or what seems like the main character) makes choices that feel unrealistic and jumps through several locations as if it's nothing. This story falls away quickly. There's alternate history, that feels tacked on, and isn't explored very well either. I don't know what it's doing here, really, it's not very interesting worldbuilding, and it doesn't seem necessary to tell the story. Then there's a first contact sci fi story, that doesn't really go anywhere. To my mind, this part is most interesting, and I would rather have had Lemire centered his story on the characters here. The ending did move me, but it feels like it's there to hide that Lemire has little to actually say with his story. It even makes the emotional ending feel unearned, and even a bit cheap. It basically makes this yet another Lemire book about a parent who has lost their child. The whole book feels empty, it feels like under all the genre stuff there's no interesting idea or point to be made. It reminds me of that other Sorrentino/Lemire collab Gideon Falls - a lot of stuff happens, but there seems to be little point to it narratively. Sorrentino's art builds better in Gideon Falls, here the quirky and fracturing art enters the story too quickly, it again feels rushed. I did enjoy seeing Sorrentino use several art styles, that was a very nice touch. (Picked up an ARC through Edelweiss)

  3. 4 out of 5

    A.J. Anders

    “I don’t know how long it will take to reach her. But I’ll be waiting. I will be here.” The stellar creative team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino team up once again for a simple, yet effective story about 3 animals being sent into space during the space race. This leads to an interesting alternate history of world history, with an emotional core to the story holding it all together. I wouldn’t say this is Lemire’s best writing, but the art by Sorrentino is perfect for the script, bringing it “I don’t know how long it will take to reach her. But I’ll be waiting. I will be here.” The stellar creative team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino team up once again for a simple, yet effective story about 3 animals being sent into space during the space race. This leads to an interesting alternate history of world history, with an emotional core to the story holding it all together. I wouldn’t say this is Lemire’s best writing, but the art by Sorrentino is perfect for the script, bringing it to life in STUNNING fashion, and I am man enough to admit the final issue may have made me cry a bit. This is one of the quicker reads I have had, as I read this as the singles came out, but was able to reread all 6 issues in less than an hour. Check it out if you can though, it really is a fantastic, albeit short, read and you’d seriously have to have one cold ass heart to not feel at least something while reading this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lukasz

    Meh. Nice art, weak plot, a book about nothing but it does hit emotions right in the end.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    Oh, fuck you, Jeff Lemire. I should have known going into this that it'd crush me. It's a story about the animals sent into space during the initial rocketship tests. Everyone remembers Laika as the first dog in space, but they always conveniently forget to mention that they, and every other animal sent up there, died. Shit, I'm getting sad just thinking about it again. But. What if...they didn't? What if something else happened, something miraculous, and they didn't have to die after all? And wha Oh, fuck you, Jeff Lemire. I should have known going into this that it'd crush me. It's a story about the animals sent into space during the initial rocketship tests. Everyone remembers Laika as the first dog in space, but they always conveniently forget to mention that they, and every other animal sent up there, died. Shit, I'm getting sad just thinking about it again. But. What if...they didn't? What if something else happened, something miraculous, and they didn't have to die after all? And what about the people back on the ground who trained those animals, who strapped them into their rockets knowing that they'd never see them again? And what if it all looked wonderful because it was all drawn by Andrea Sorrentino? That's Primordial. This is going on the pile of 'stories I can't bring myself to read them again because they make me cry too much', right next to We3. Thankfully, this one doesn't have quite as sad an ending, but it still made me blubber like a baby. And I'd recommend it to absolutely everyone who cares even a little bit about animals. Just bring a whole box of tissues.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Maybe it just wasn't for me. Exceedingly slow, murky, unexplained, and pointless. Maybe it just wasn't for me. Exceedingly slow, murky, unexplained, and pointless.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brian Garthoff

    Simple but effective. Primordial is another product of the Lemire Sorrentino super duo, and really I have to give bonus points out on this one. Listen we all know Sorrentino is a man who likes his squares, and Lemire his touching moments. But so much is told with such very little dialogue and details that it really impressed me when the emotional beats of this book seemed so powerful. The concept of this book is so fun and reminiscent of We3, or Pride of Baghdad. Plus, squares. You can expect lo Simple but effective. Primordial is another product of the Lemire Sorrentino super duo, and really I have to give bonus points out on this one. Listen we all know Sorrentino is a man who likes his squares, and Lemire his touching moments. But so much is told with such very little dialogue and details that it really impressed me when the emotional beats of this book seemed so powerful. The concept of this book is so fun and reminiscent of We3, or Pride of Baghdad. Plus, squares. You can expect lots of squares.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matty Dub

    The art by Sorrentino is absolutely incredible throughout the series, it shows us a lot of different styles not previously seen in his work. He also does the heavy lifting in storytelling, his art tells you what is going on, your emotional connection to the art is how you intuit what’s happening as you work your way through the book. If you try too hard to understand it based on the script, you instantly take yourself out of the experience. It’s worth nothing that as monthly chapters, this story The art by Sorrentino is absolutely incredible throughout the series, it shows us a lot of different styles not previously seen in his work. He also does the heavy lifting in storytelling, his art tells you what is going on, your emotional connection to the art is how you intuit what’s happening as you work your way through the book. If you try too hard to understand it based on the script, you instantly take yourself out of the experience. It’s worth nothing that as monthly chapters, this story could get frustratingly slow but read in one sitting it is an incredible emotional rollercoaster.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    Well, it's definitely a change of tone from Gideon Falls and Bone Orchard. In another 1960s, Nixon beat JFK by a landslide; the space race has been abandoned and is now being picked over for parts. As far as the public is concerned, Laika was lost even sooner than she was here, and America's monkey astronauts Able and Baker likewise. Now, having seen how readily our own benighted timeline gave up on getting offworld, I find that perfectly plausible, but apparently it's not: really, the USA and U Well, it's definitely a change of tone from Gideon Falls and Bone Orchard. In another 1960s, Nixon beat JFK by a landslide; the space race has been abandoned and is now being picked over for parts. As far as the public is concerned, Laika was lost even sooner than she was here, and America's monkey astronauts Able and Baker likewise. Now, having seen how readily our own benighted timeline gave up on getting offworld, I find that perfectly plausible, but apparently it's not: really, the USA and USSR both got scared because something out there took the animals. Is a secret history of a history that never was a step too far to fully engage with? I think for me it might be, a little. But as ever Sorrentino makes it all look brilliant, whether that be 2001-style antiseptic space facilities or a sinister Cold War rendezvous. And there's one particularly fine full page of an off-coloured screaming monkey, the whole background taken up with EEEEEEEEE, which feels like a diagram of the inside of my head whenever I look at the news. As with any long-standing partnership, to some extent you should know by now whether you like Lemire and Sorrentino comics – though it's worth noting that here all those mind-bending layouts and moody colours are put to a use that's much less outright horror, more Morrison and Quitely strange, than usual. But within that field...well, in some senses the cracks are showing sooner than usual, but I have always been a sucker for any story in which Laika gets to come home. (Edelweiss ARC)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Stanley

    Primordial collects issues 1-6 of the Image Comics series written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, and colored by David Stewart. During the Space Race in the 1950s, American and Soviet space agencies launched satellites in to orbit containing test animals. Both agencies quickly shut down their space programs after the animals mysteriously disappeared. A few years later, a scientist sets out to discover what happened. The book starts off amazing. The first issue is one my favorit Primordial collects issues 1-6 of the Image Comics series written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, and colored by David Stewart. During the Space Race in the 1950s, American and Soviet space agencies launched satellites in to orbit containing test animals. Both agencies quickly shut down their space programs after the animals mysteriously disappeared. A few years later, a scientist sets out to discover what happened. The book starts off amazing. The first issue is one my favorite first issues ever. But this is just kinda fizzles. While the animals’ story is good, the rest of the book feels incomplete. There is so much missing or unprovided story. I felt like there was a good sci-fi mystery in here just waiting to be unleashed. We did get a heartwarming tale of a woman and her dog, but that didn’t seem to be where the book was going in that first issue. I felt this would have better off as a 12 issue series that explored a lot of what exactly was going on. Sorrentino’s art is moody and beautiful as always and he really gets a chance to excitement here. This is still a good book, but not one of Lemire’s better stories.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    This graphic novel blends alt history and sci-fi. It takes place in a world that differs from ours in a number of [mostly superficial] ways that might all be ripples from one major change, that change being that when the US and the USSR sent their test animals into space something very different happened, something that put an end to the space programs of both nations. The story features characters based on the real-world personages of Laika (the dog the Soviet Union shot into space) and Able an This graphic novel blends alt history and sci-fi. It takes place in a world that differs from ours in a number of [mostly superficial] ways that might all be ripples from one major change, that change being that when the US and the USSR sent their test animals into space something very different happened, something that put an end to the space programs of both nations. The story features characters based on the real-world personages of Laika (the dog the Soviet Union shot into space) and Able and Baker (the monkeys that America sent.) There are two storylines occurring simultaneously, first in the 1960’s and then in the near future. One of these is the tale of the aforementioned “test pilots,” and the other is that of two scientists who are trying to get the animals back, or at least to communicate with them. One of the scientists is an American professor from MIT doing contract work for NASA and the other is a Soviet biologist. It’s a simple story, but I found it engaging and to be built on an intriguing premise. I’d recommend it for readers of graphic fiction, particularly those who enjoy counterfactuals.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Individual issue reviews: #1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 Total review score: 2.46 Individual issue reviews: #1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 Total review score: 2.46

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jared

    I love this book completely. The shifting styles in the artwork, the emotional focus in the writing, and the total feel of things bigger and beyond us. If things like Grant Morrison comics and the film 2001 resonate with you, then read this.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike Jorgensen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Beautifully illustrated, well-paced, but man it had nothing to say about anything and it went nowhere. It teased profound sci fi, a political thriller, and conspiracy theories. I would watch Sorrentino tell any story and Jeff Lemire is my favorite comic creator. This was my biggest disappointment in a while.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    In the late 1950s, the Soviets sent Laika up into space. Things didn't end well. The US responded with a pair of little monkeys. Things ended up even less well, and the whole space programme was abandoned. Cut to a couple of years later, when a scientist is employed in the mothballing of the gear, but finds evidence that all the reports of what happened were abject lies. His side were hiding the truth – but then, so were the other side. But what does side have to do when there is a great big Som In the late 1950s, the Soviets sent Laika up into space. Things didn't end well. The US responded with a pair of little monkeys. Things ended up even less well, and the whole space programme was abandoned. Cut to a couple of years later, when a scientist is employed in the mothballing of the gear, but finds evidence that all the reports of what happened were abject lies. His side were hiding the truth – but then, so were the other side. But what does side have to do when there is a great big Something Out There to leave us all scratching our heads? So sue me, but I love books like this. High-concept stories – and high here is borderline bonkers, a snappy telling, a feel the right solution to the mystery could end up genuinely mind-blowing. But books like that cannot rely on just being an ace elevator pitch, they have to back it up. And to me, this does. Yes, it can feel slight, yes it can look a bit Emperor's New Clothes with all the flashy, bitty visuals that pepper so much of this (and yes it can feel a bit close to the bone knowing what happened to Sweden in this alternative history story!), but again this is the kind of thing I enjoy, on that rare occasion it comes along. Ultimately, of course, blown minds were very much absent, but it was the premise, the potential for said cranial damage. That's enough for me – even if things here don't end as wonderfully as they might, even if the read was made very awkward digitally courtesy the great number of double-paged spreads, and so on. There are flaws here, but the difference between this when it's conceptual, fun and something with the potential to do and be great and this team's own Bone-Headed Orchard myth-ed opportunity franchise opener, is huge. If this is flash over substance, it's the rare sparkle and hue of the flash that floated my boat, and I was really glad to read it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bertazzo

    I understand people displeased because the story is unexplained, but it is not that unexplained. The plot sells a mind-bending Cold War sci-fi... and deliver a not so nuanced cute-dog-try-to-find-its-way-home story. But the deep plot is there. Some spoilers ahead. Humanity gave up the stars. They buried their space programs by frustration (or fear?). The aliens want to connect. They want humanity to fly. They teach the pets how to change, how to erase time... The time was the gift. They gave Earth I understand people displeased because the story is unexplained, but it is not that unexplained. The plot sells a mind-bending Cold War sci-fi... and deliver a not so nuanced cute-dog-try-to-find-its-way-home story. But the deep plot is there. Some spoilers ahead. Humanity gave up the stars. They buried their space programs by frustration (or fear?). The aliens want to connect. They want humanity to fly. They teach the pets how to change, how to erase time... The time was the gift. They gave Earth another shot. But they also gave a big change to Baker, courage to Able, and a happy ending to Laika.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paul Allard

    Alternative reality comic collection. Good story. This comic series gives us an alternative reality in which the space program has never been developed when the animals shot into space are believed to have died. In this series, they didn’t die but live on somewhere in space. The story involves a few main characters seeking the truth and how the animals develop. It’s a good yarn but I am not a big fan of this basic artwork that lacks detail and colour. I received a copy of this in exchange for an Alternative reality comic collection. Good story. This comic series gives us an alternative reality in which the space program has never been developed when the animals shot into space are believed to have died. In this series, they didn’t die but live on somewhere in space. The story involves a few main characters seeking the truth and how the animals develop. It’s a good yarn but I am not a big fan of this basic artwork that lacks detail and colour. I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carlitos

    What is happening to Jeff these days? Great ideas, intriguing premises, strong starts and fluffed endings that lead nowhere and mean little. I can only assume that he cranks out so much at once that he's left creating nothing of real worth. Sorrentino's art remains as stellar as ever, no complaints there. This is just disappointing from one of my favourite writers of the medium. I'm hesitant to finish Ascender, I hope he doesn't fluff the ending on that one. What is happening to Jeff these days? Great ideas, intriguing premises, strong starts and fluffed endings that lead nowhere and mean little. I can only assume that he cranks out so much at once that he's left creating nothing of real worth. Sorrentino's art remains as stellar as ever, no complaints there. This is just disappointing from one of my favourite writers of the medium. I'm hesitant to finish Ascender, I hope he doesn't fluff the ending on that one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rocky Sunico

    I enjoyed this despite it's "simplicity", which is really just more elegant and highly visual storytelling over wordier things. This has a lot of the same feels as things like We3, but not as violent. The story is very simple in structure but beautiful in the telling. It potentially raises more questions than it provides answers, but that's just the experience of the whole thing. I enjoyed this despite it's "simplicity", which is really just more elegant and highly visual storytelling over wordier things. This has a lot of the same feels as things like We3, but not as violent. The story is very simple in structure but beautiful in the telling. It potentially raises more questions than it provides answers, but that's just the experience of the whole thing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    I had read the first issue when it was released and thought it was great. Setup was intriguing and art was amazing. Now have just gotten to the rest of the issues and it's a shocking disappointment. Story just goes off into space magic land and that's all you know and the end happens with no other explanation. The dog stuff was cute, granted but really a big waste of time. I had read the first issue when it was released and thought it was great. Setup was intriguing and art was amazing. Now have just gotten to the rest of the issues and it's a shocking disappointment. Story just goes off into space magic land and that's all you know and the end happens with no other explanation. The dog stuff was cute, granted but really a big waste of time.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Omnibuster

    Part Interstellar, Part We-3, Part Philip K Dick and all heart. Picked it up without knowing anything about the story and found it to be ultimately moving and a nice lil “poem” to our sentience and connection with all living things.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mark Schwaber

    One of the premier collections of the last decade. This beautifully crafted book has it all. As lovely to look at as it is to read. It’s conclusion one of the most loving I’ve read in the genre. This is as good as it gets.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kylesnooze

    This would be so much better if Andrea Sorrentino wasn't doing the art. It's just hard to follow at times and his art isn't really great for comprehension. Suffered some of the same problems as Gideon Falls for me. This would be so much better if Andrea Sorrentino wasn't doing the art. It's just hard to follow at times and his art isn't really great for comprehension. Suffered some of the same problems as Gideon Falls for me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jamil

    Great and gorgeous

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mike Hughes

    Slowly paced, but I found the simple ending to be unexpectedly emotional, while showing the complete trust Lemire has for Sorrentino’s overwhelming full bleed abstractions to carry narrative payoff.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joel

    Fantastic art. Story doesn't explain everything but it still works. Probably would have been too confusing if Lemire explained every detail. Fantastic art. Story doesn't explain everything but it still works. Probably would have been too confusing if Lemire explained every detail.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Visually stunning and full of heart. Superb.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nick Lege

    I don't know what I expected but not this. Like this entire book could have been condensed into one chapter. I don't know what I expected but not this. Like this entire book could have been condensed into one chapter.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Terrance

    A cute, delightful little story, but with big build-ups of conspiracies, secrets, and mysteries that never pay off.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Ambitious.

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