3 out of 5
Split issues, with Stan Timmons’ / Bill Ryan’s Sunrise gracing the cover and first half, and Grant Morrison’s Abraxas featured in the back.
You’re… likely reading this for Grant, and I’d say you’re in luck: while these two prologues were the first two parts of an unpublished third, and there’s entirely too much about Abraxas we’ll probably never learn, these are worthwhile addendums to a Morrison collection, sitting alongside his early 2000 AD / Doctor Who kind of bite-sized but impressive sci-fi. There’s some laidback, godlike figure, Simon Magus; there’s some space scuffle over ‘a code tape;’ there’s a woman on Earth who’s being haunted by sights of aliens and a shadowed, horn-headed man; and there’s Abraxas, battle warrior, who speaks in clipped sentences and battle-axes his way easily through aliens and robots. That’s quite a bit to lay down across 14 or so pages, and we get about three pages of text and drawings from Grant explaining that the story had been in work for a while, seeking a home… and then, ironically, Sunrise never published another issue. Tony O’Donnel’s art on this stuff can be a bit stiff, with the action framing slightly off, but it ‘s also nicely detailed has a classic look to it that reminds of the era.
Sunrise, the other half of the book, is not so great. Lou Manna’s Kirby and Ditko-isms are very rough, and the art, in general, has an unfinished notebook look to it. The pages seek to be dynamic but are just kind of messy and uninteresting. The story, about a man gifted powers from some force inside the moon, is a cool concept, and when it’s written more from an omniscient point of view, it sounds like it could shape up into something, but then the dialogue is all hero smack talk and eye-rolling cliche.