Just in time for Season Two of The Expanse – Syfy’s gritty adaptation of James S.A. Corey’s bestselling science fiction series – comes this somewhat drab tie-in prequel miniseries.

For those who haven’t been caught up in Expanse fever yet, the series is set in a future where mankind has colonised most of the Solar System, though interstellar travel is not yet a reality.

As usual, people just can’t get along. The Earth-based United Nations Government, the Martian Government and the Outer Planets Alliance (OPA) are at each other’s throats and the whole system is ready to explode into war.

The series follows the crew of the hijacked/salvaged Martian gunship Rocinante as they investigate a (really) wide-ranging conspiracy that could just spark off that war, or something even worse.

In space, no one can hear you introspect.

In space, no one can hear you introspect.

This comics miniseries (issue #1 was just released) will look into the backstories of the Rocinante crewmembers, beginning with its captain Jim Holden in the debut issue.

The Expanse: Origins 1 by Boom Studios

The Expanse: Origins 1 by Boom Studios.

Unfortunately, this “origin” just can’t hold a candle to the intense and surprising developments on the show’s first season. The comic follows Holden’s brief tour as a junior officer on board the Earth ship UNN Zheng Fei and is a strictly formulaic tale of the headstrong, insubordinate-on-principle young recruit that we’ve seen in countless settings and media.

By the end of the first issue, we get precious little new info about the character – nothing that we couldn’t glean from Holden’s actions on the series, or the moments when assorted characters went around digging into his past.

With art that’s as uninspired as the writing, this really does smack more of cash-in than a proper tie-in.

It’s surprising that this comic is so mediocre, considering the story credit given to series creator Corey (actually a pen name for two authors, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck).

According to reports, The Expanse series could be set in the same universe as The Martian, because one Mars ship is known as the Mark Watney. Too bad no one tried to “science the sh*t” out of writing a worthy prequel.

The Expanse: Origins #1 (of 4)

Writers: James S.A. Corey, Hallie Lambert, Georgia Lee
Artists: Huang Danlan, Triona Farrell
Publisher: Boom! Studios