First things first, these stories follow The Expanse television series continuity and not necessarily the book series continuity. Granted, there isn’t much difference between the two, but they are growing further apart as the show continues to develop the books to series, and I’m starting to make an effort to keep them separate in my head. Each issue collected here covers a backstory for an individual main character on the show. The first four of these were originally released as individual digital comics. They are combined in this collection with a new fifth issue covering Detective Miller’s backstory before the events of The Expanse, and this is the only physical release of these issues.
James S.A. Corey (Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham), the writers of The Expanse book series and the television adaptation, created these backstories, but the nitty gritty writing is done by Hallie Lambert and Georgia Lee, two more writers from the show.
The stories are a little uneven, quality wise, but the Naomi, Amos, and Miller issues are very good. I’d read 100 more issues of Miller going around catching bad guys and being morally ambiguous on Ceres. All in all, they’re much better than the usual TV tie-in comic book fare, and this collection is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of The Expanse.
Issue #1: James Holden: 2/5
Holden disobeys an order to fire on a ship, gets into a fight with a superior officer, gets discharged. I was really hoping for more from this. It doesn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already know, and the artwork was fairly generic. The Alex/Amos/Naomi backstories in the novels/novellas have a lot more to them, so hopefully their issues in this series will get into some of that stuff.
Issue #2: Naomi Nagata: 4/5
This is a great little backstory for The Expanse tv series involving Naomi hiring Amos as a mechanic for the Canterbury. The story hints heavily toward additional background yet to be revealed for both Naomi and Amos. It has some terrific moments that really add to the overall development of these characters. I think it’s a massive improvement compared to the first issue which focused on Holden, although the artwork is still just.. Okay.
Issue #3: Alex Kamal: 2/5
Ehh, It was okay. I was hoping for something much more interesting in Alex’s past.
Issue #4: Amos Burton: 4/5
What a clever way to give a little hint of Amos’ backstory. His life from The Churn is so tragic. I cannot wait to see how they handle it on the show. Also, the inclusion of the infamous socio/psychopath trolley problem test in this was a nice touch.
Issue #5: Josephus Miller: 5/5
The best of the five for sure. This story makes the whole collection worth checking out. Heartbreaking and bittersweet. Miller makes some concessions to take down a big hitter on Ceres, and it costs him more than what he bargained for.