‘Eden’ by Christopher Sebela – Graphic Novel ARC Review


Desperate to escape a dying Earth, a family schemes their way onto a massive spaceship towards a new planet, Eden. But shortly after they take off, they discover the terrifying truth, and their journey toward salvation becomes a fight to survive.

The world is dying. Massive overpopulation strains the Earth’s resources, endangering all of humanity with the threat of famine, disease, and war. Governments and the environment alike crumble, and the populace take drastic measures to stay alive. Their only hope is Eden, a newly discovered distant Earth-like planet unspoiled by the choices of man. Massive Edencorp spaceships begin to shuttle millions of lucky people to the safety of Eden, chosen by lottery.

The Oximenko family has survived for years through scavenging, street smarts, and hope. When a neighboring family wins the Eden lottery, Gabe Oximenko hatches a plan to swap out his family with the winners. Everything is going according to plan until the Oximenkos are shocked out of cryosleep and learn the truth of their journey. Now, the family must once again fight for survival, but this time an entire transport ship is looking to make sure they never make it to Eden… or anywhere else!

Writer Christopher Sebela (GodfellCrowded) and artist Marc Laming (Star WarsJames Bond 007) have come together to craft a sci-fi thriller of environmental collapse and corporate greed. From a story by Alain Bismut and Abel Ferry, with colors by Lee Loughridge and letters by Troy Peteri.

Name – Eden

Author(s) – Christopher Sebela (Writer); Marc Laming (Artist); Alain Bismut and Abel Ferry (Story)

Publisher – Humanoids, Inc.

Genre – Sci-Fi/Thriller [Adult fiction]

Chapters – 5

Pages – 136 (PDF/ADE)

Cover – 8/10 (Pretty good!)

Release Date – 9 April, 2024

Who isn’t a fan of comic books/graphic novels, right? I most certainly am! And while searching through the said category over at NetGalley, I came across ‘Eden’. I mean, the cover is pretty daunting to start with. Then, once you go over the description, you can’t help but wonder – “I need to check this out!” And that’s exactly what I did! (at least that’s what I hoped, rather, when I quickly pushed that ‘Request’ button!). The ‘Approved request’ email from NetGalley was so satisfying to see. And so, I would like to massively thank NetGalley, the Publishers – Humanoids, Inc., and the team of ‘Eden’ for giving me the opportunity to review the digital ARC.

What is ‘Eden’ all about?

“Earth’s future is more uncertain than ever. The only real security you can rely on is Eden.”

So then, to begin with, what exactly is ‘Eden’? Well, it’s a newly discovered earth-like planet… but way better than earth itself at the present moment. Our “home” is more or less a total mess – overpopulation, climate change, global warming, socio-economic imbalance, war, etc. (rings true to the current times, huh?). And so, when a brand-new planet is found which would be able to sustain the human populace in a similar manner to that of earth, and which is also unblemished by the touch of man, realistically, who wouldn’t want to move there to be with their loved ones and live the rest of their lives peacefully without a thing to worry?

“A new world. Where anything is possible.”

“Unspoiled land, cities, and homes built with the latest technology fully integrated, room enough for everyone.”

“Eden: Your best life is a galaxy away.”

No need to think twice about that, is there? But the big question is – how do you actually get there? That’s what ‘Edencorp’ are here for. To help people move to Eden, and fulfill their needs of a dream life… but only if you manage to win a lottery to get there in the first place. If luck is on your side, your life will never be the same again. But not everyone is lucky, and not everyone has the freedom to live their lives. For some, struggle is always a part of their livelihood, no matter the circumstances.

One such family is the Oximenko family, consisting of Gabe (father), Morgan (mother), and Kali (their daughter). They are literally stealing a living on the streets of Paris, France; struggling to survive, and have been doing so for a while. But their endeavors have earned them certain “skills” which make the trio quite deadly and efficient in their errands. How long before something changes? Gabe only wants one thing – a better life for his daughter, and for that, he is prepared to do anything. When the news of one of their neighbors winning the lottery reaches the family, Gabe is not going to hesitate whatsoever in achieving his goal. It certainly seems that fortune does favor the brave when the Oximenkos finally get the chance to travel to Eden. But it seems that they can’t outrun challenges even in space, for their path to a better life far away from earth… is going to turn into a living nightmare for survival… not only for them, but for everyone involved…

It seems that nobody is prepared for what’s about to unfold… and the horrifying discovery that will be made a million miles away from earth… onboard ‘The Constellation’ – a massive spaceship carrying millions of lucky people on a long voyage through space… towards the one and only destination sought by everyone – Eden.

A snippet from ‘Eden’

What did I like about it?

  • First off, the artwork is really good… great, rather! I loved the style, the colours, and the designs/illustrations in general. Well done!
  • The story was pretty good, and the world building was nicely done.
  • The ending was satisfying, and if there is a next installment, I would love to see where it goes.

What was not quite up to the mark?

  • The characters, especially the family trio, had a few flaws, especially in the character work, which didn’t quite sit right with me.
  • The first half was pretty flawless story-wise, but the second half had a few dips in my opinion, making it a kind of bumpy ride towards the end.
  • The tropes are not quite unique, and have been overused in the genre I feel. Having said that, the story does manage to stay exciting for most parts, but the overall product could’ve been much better still.

Some quotes/dialogues

“What is it, you think, that will make you ideal residents of Eden?”

Hope, I’d say.”

Gabe’s reply to Bannister Huark, a member of Edencorp

“What are we doing?”

“Whatever we have to.”

Gabe, again, when asked by Kali (to me, this line hit different while reading; shows the grit and determination of a father desperate to do anything for his daughter and his family)

How bad is this going to get?

Dunno. If I had to guess? Real bad.

No need for a citation (P.S. – it gets really bad for everyone…)

Other info.

  • Character designs are present at the end, depicting how the artwork was created, labelled – ‘Building Eden’. Excellently done, and great to see!
  • Note: – Mature themes present (blood; foul language; violence; death).

Final thoughts

I liked it! The artwork is great, and the story (even though the tropes are kinda overused in the genre) is pretty good for the most part, with a satisfying ending. I felt that the characters were a bit flawed though, and could’ve been better executed. But overall, even though it doesn’t quite hit all the targets, I enjoyed the read. It’s a pretty good sci-fi/thriller graphic novel that you can dig into.