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Sunday, November 22, 2009

This Week's Suspended Animation - The Dome: Ground Zero


The Dome: Ground Zero, Published by DC Comics, copyright 1998, 64 pages, cover price $7.95.

As in any entertainment medium, experimentation within the field of comics is important. And, while a handful of computer-generated comics were produced in the 80’s and 90’s, for my money, DC’s graphic novel entitled The Dome was one of the most worthwhile.

When the U.S. military detonates its’ latest experimental bomb…,the Quantum Bomb…, the after-effects are wholly unexpected. An ancient alien spaceship is activated, and an age-old plan is re-activated. Is the Dome of evil origin? Does the plan threaten humanity? And how will the story’s protagonists find the answers before the military destroys the Dome entirely? These questions are the linchpins of an entertaining plot by long-time comic book professional Dave Gibbons. His characters, if not terribly original, have convincing motivations and believable dialogue. The story hits an intriguing pace early on, and holds it nearly all the way through, creating a fun ride for readers.

A combination of painted art and computer-generated graphics, much of Angus McKie’s work is quite striking, even beautiful. However, as computer technology improves on pretty much an annual basis these days, the 1998 graphics will likely seem stiff, and even antiquated to some. Still, the art never distracts from the story. And who knows? It may even be a draw for older readers who were more into video games during the 90’s.

Adding to the total experience is a short interview with McKie concerning the challenge of producing a computer generated graphic novel. I can see this appealing to other artists, and even fans of comics history.

All in all, The Dome is a solid sci-fi thriller that fulfills the promise on the back cover of “a new kind of graphic experience with all the punch of a blockbuster action movie.”

It’s recommended for older readers, and fans of science fiction and thrillers. Find it at comics shops, conventions, and online auctions and retailers.

Review by Mark Allen