Astroneer: Countdown, Vol. 1

Titan Comics. Mar. 2023. 112p. pap. $13.99. ISBN 9781787739901.
Gr 6 Up–This graphic novel is set in the universe of the Astroneer video game (available on Steam, Xbox, Windows 10, PS4, and Nintendo Switch). A group of characters known by their numbers must work together to solve a puzzle involving a colleague, Astroneer Seven, who keeps disappearing and reappearing on the mysterious planet Boreas. The most memorable images in this book are the astroneers themselves, cute and cartoony astronauts with reflective helmets that hide their faces. Because the Astroneers’ faces are always obscured, readers will need to decipher their identities and their emotions through dialogue and body language. The most appealing parts of this story are the humor and the action, which will keep readers engaged. While it is not necessary to be familiar with the Astroneer video game to understand what’s going on in this graphic novel, it will have more appeal to fans of the game. This book contains three bonus stories (“Decaf Noir,” “Have We Met,” and “Out of Bounds”) that vary widely in mood, artistic styles, and age range appeal.
VERDICT For fans of the Astroneer video game, and for larger collections that are looking to expand their selection of science fiction-themed graphic novels.

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