Forged #1 Review: Comics' Next Big Space Opera Event Is Here

Often times publishers in the world of comics say there are far too many superhero titles being released every week. One could argue in that same vein, sci-fi epics, and fantasy titles are just as prevalent, with enough sword and sorcery tales and space cop programming to whet even the driest of appetites. That's why when something like Forged comes along where a publisher—in this case, Image Comics—promises a certain title breaks the mold and upsets the status quo, it's easy enough to roll your eyes at the notion.

Luckily, for those hoping for something fresh in Forged #1, not only does the title live up to those promises, it spectacularly smashes every expectation one may have about its genre.

Fans will quickly notice how this title doesn't fall in a single genre. It's equal parts space opera and dark fantasy, simultaneously paying respect to a smorgasbord of legendary properties from Starship Troopers and Star Trek to Conan the Barbarian and Godzilla, all draped in a neon-soaked cloak.

On paper, the mashup doesn't really make too much sense—only Rucka and Trautmann make it work exceptionally well. Largely thanks in part to Forged #1's double-size debut issue, the writing duo is able to toss readers into this world headfirst. The script borders upon being painfully slow, all because it's going to great lengths in getting it's world-building right. For an initial outing, the pacing works out perfectly fine because it's that world-building care that has me completely invested in the future of this series.

The world is then built in epic fashion thanks to the work of artist Mike Henderson, who manages to seamlessly blend an incredible amount of tones into one cohesive package. Henderson's lineart here is nothing short of intimate, both with his carefully-drawn sex scenes and action-packed, mecha-smashing sequences.

While the plot doesn't feel like it's going anywhere until the final few pages, that's something completely forgivable due to the expansive world introduced in the pages before. It's a dynamic comics universe with even better artwork and together, this creative team has made a genre-spanning smash. 

Published by Image Comics

On March 15, 2023

Written by Greg Rucka and Eric Trautmann

Art by Mike Henderson

Colors by Nolan Woodard

Letters by Ariana Maher

Design by Eric Trautmann

Cover by Mike Henderson