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Written by Dennis Hopeless
Art by Piotr Kowalski
Colors by Brad Simpson
Letters by Chas! Pangburn
Edits by Joe Corallo
Design by David Reyes
Published by Mad Cave Studios

“It’s all sex, lies and betrayal on a reality show streaming from the International Space Station until the crew receives a message reading “ABORT MISSION AND GET HOME NOW.” Things unravel quickly as they find their shuttle damaged and a crew member dead. They’ll have to fight to survive and escape… with cameras recording everything.”

The Kármán line is the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space and is often defined as 100 kilometers above Earth’s mean sea level. Given the international makeup of the crew of this story it is clever to title the book in such a way as this is the point

Mad Cave Studios does not release a lot of graphic novel-only stories. This is the first that I’ve seen since I’ve been reading their books. Their young adult Maverick imprint does this, but so far I have not seen any from the Mad Cave main line. My first thoughts when finishing this graphic novel were just “wow, wow, wow.” It will take you on such an incredible journey packed with drama, action, sex, and a survival story like no other. I could not stop reading this.

Dennis Hopeless does an excellent job of creating and building suspense throughout the story to keep the reader engaged in the plot. The story is so well-paced and Hopeless brings in new points of drama and action at the right time in calmer moments of the plot which builds up the impact of what is happening. Drama is needed to drive the plot, just as a reality TV show uses drama to create the content of its episodes. Hopeless utilizes this connection flawlessly throughout the story.

I am loving every bit of Piotr Kowalski’s art in the graphic novel, from character designs to spaceship and space station designs, Piotr makes this sci-fi story feel so well based in reality. He spares no expense for small details and does a great job of interpreting lighting, even when our characters are outside in the depths of space.

Brad Simpson’s colors set the mood throughout the comic and it always feels so subtly done that it leaves you really falling into the story. The combination of Kowalski and Simpson leaves us with art that is so beautiful and captivating that you will be coming back to read this story again and again.

I have really enjoyed what Chas! Pangburn does throughout the story with the sound effects and emphasis on certain word balloons. Also, the smart use of balloons that look more electronic and staticky for radio communications solidifies the presentation of the story. Speaking of presentation, having David Reyes on the book design brings everything together in a solid presentation. The design of the pages before and after the story really immerses you into the world of this reality-television space story.

Rating: 9.5/10

The Karman Line will be out on March 29, 2023!


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