Comic Review: Prison Ship (IDW)

With Prison Ship, we get to revisit the amazingly talented Esteban Maroto’s black and white line drawings from the 1980’s. Originally written by Bruce Jones and illustrated by Esteban Maroto […]

With Prison Ship, we get to revisit the amazingly talented Esteban Maroto’s black and white line drawings from the 1980’s.

Originally written by Bruce Jones and illustrated by Esteban Maroto in the 1980’s, and now collected and published by IDW, this is a mind-altering adventure into space with a beautiful young prison warden.

The drama starts right off the bat; Diana Jacklighter is piloting a space transport ship carrying 10 dangerous criminals. They are in stasis, unconscious and lying in sleeping capsules on board. All is easy going, until a meteor strikes the ship. The ship is badly damaged, and in the chaos, all 10 criminals manage to escape in shuttle craft.

It’s Diana’s job to chase them, no matter where they went. So, off she goes, to unknown worlds, chasing dangerous convicts.

The artwork is superb; Diana is beautiful, slim, and wears skin tight uniforms. And sometimes no uniform; no matter, she is comfortable in her skin, as they say.

The storyline is predictably offbeat, the situations are a bit contrived, but the artwork remains amazing throughout. We don’r realize how much we miss a talent like Maroto, who can comfortably offer up maidens in distress (or undress) but make their hapless adventures somehow intimate and compelling without too much obvious pandering to the ‘good girl’ side of the coin.

The story is fun, witty and well paced, with great pauses, scenes and changes of direction. This one will keep you guessing while you keep on admiring the view.

Foreword, including a ‘behind-the-scenes’ account of the history of Prison Ship, is written by Esteban Maroto.

IDW, Prison Ship, $19.99 for 108 pages of black and white content, with color covers. Mature readers.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!