Synopsis: In Earthdivers, The year is 2112, and it’s the apocalypse exactly as expected: rivers receding, oceans rising, civilization crumbling. Humanity has given up hope, except for a group of outcast Indigenous survivors who have discovered a time travel portal in a cave in the middle of the desert and figured out where the world took a sharp turn for the worst: America. Convinced that the only way to save the world is to rewrite its past, they send one of their own on a bloody, one-way mission back to 1492 to kill Christopher Columbus before he reaches the so-called New World.
Earthdivers hits the ground running as we meet Tad and Sosh in the cave that will make things possible for one of them to travel back through time. Their plan is to got back to 1492 and kill Columbus before he discovers America. It’s a simple enough plan, to begin with. But we soon learn that the execution will mean that Tad will have to change his whole outlook. When he goes back in time. The first thing Tad has to do is kill another sailor and steal his identity. Tad knows lots of languages and is highly educated and is proud of Lacota heritage. He is now a killer thanks to the fact that he has to kill someone and take their identity so he can get on one of Columbus’s ships.
Once on board a ship. Tad assumes the role of Rodrigo, but his knowledge of sailor’s knots comes with very little practice, but gets the attention of his crewmates as he fails to tie a simple knot. This is just the first of many problems that Tad comes across while trying to blend into the 15th century.
Meanwhile, back in 2112 Tad’s wife Soshi and her friends desperately search for history books and history websites to look for any changes that Tad may have been able to implement. They search for any indication of whether or not Tad has succeeded in killing Columbus.
Davide Gianfelice produces some fantastic art for this book as we see lots of landscapes and vistas from 2112 as well as lots of water and sailing ships. The artist absolutely nails the period costumes of the 15th century and the ships are beautifully drawn. My favorite few panels from this book are when Tad tells the story of the Muskrat to the ship’s boy. It’s a story within the story that allows Ginfelice to demonstrate his skills as a visual storyteller.
Stephen Graham Jones gets off to a great start with Earthdivers. I really enjoyed the fact that Tad was having to do things that he’d not dream of doing in order to fit in. The killing of the sailor at the start is pretty much the first instance of Tad having to go against his true nature so he can move forward with his mission. I’m looking forward to the next issue to see where this goes.