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By Brandy Dykhuizen. Chaos ensues as Lilly dives into a shoot-em-up with the bad guys, hotwires some pretty sweet space wheels and careens through the city with slave drivers and drug dealers in hot pursuit. Her new pint-sized sidekick doesn’t seem too bothered by getting shot at as long as Lilly is at the helm, which is precisely the sort of trust and motivation Lilly needs to step up her game and rise to her full potential. Thus is the beginning of Steve Horton and Stephen Thompson’s top notch Satellite Falling #2.

The dark clouds and rain seem to lift for our hero once she’s given a mission. It’s not that she has something to prove, exactly. She is simply in possession of a moral compass on overdrive, and a strong sense of justice that affects her to the core. After abandoning her corrupt and selfish planet, she identifies with no race or sect, moving as a free agent occasionally in the police’s employ. This lack of loyalty to a single entity allows her to move fluidly between her holographic projections to really take care of business.

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However, she is not completely above influence, of course, and when her target becomes a very important and much loved person from her past, she chokes and plunges into an identity crisis. It’s easy to jump between bodies when you’re the only one of your kind on a strange planet, but second-guessing the validity of your own history is a much more strenuous task.

Satellite Falling is more than a high-speed chase through tangled love stories. While all the action is fun, engaging and deftly portrayed, it’s the underlying themes of identity and trust that really make this book rise above the fray. Both Horton and Thompson are experts at balancing subtlety amidst the forces of overt turmoil, for an intriguing and visually sensational read.

IDW Publishing/$3.99

Written by Steve Horton.

Art by Stephen Thompson.

Colors by Lisa Jackson.

Letters by Neil Uyetake.

8 out of 10

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