Habitat (Comic Book)

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Habitat is an American comic book published by Image Comics, written and drawn by Simon Roy (notable for his work on among others, another Image series, Prophet). The comic itself was originally presented in various issues of Island magazine, also published by Image Comics.

All his life, Hank Cho wanted to join the ranks of the Habsec—the rulers of the orbital habitat his people call home. But when he finds a powerful, forbidden weapon from the deep past, a single moment of violence sets his life—and the brutal society of the habitat—into upheaval. Hunted by the cannibalistic Habsec and sheltered by former enemies, Cho finds himself caught within a civil war that threatens to destroy his world.

In addition to its peculiar, barbarian-esque premise, the comic is known for its hand-drawn art style, which could be described as organic. The world-building presentation and high concept are also more in line with Franco-Belgian albums than conventional American comics.

Tropes used in Habitat (Comic Book) include:
  • Action Survivor: Hank Cho, while capable of defending himself, is more of this than an action hero, as he's simply trying to stay alive.
  • And Man Grew Proud: The tribe of Christian zealots believe that the Habitat's current state is divine punishment. The Engineers meanwhile think that it's somehow revenge by the dead of "Old Earth."
  • Ambiguously Brown: Many characters, including Cho, have some indeterminate shade of tan; it's implied to be due to centuries of interbreeding as well as the Habitat's climate.
  • Animesque: After a fashion. The comic's format and presentation are very reminiscent of Franco-Belgian albums.
  • Barbarian Hero: Cho looks the part but is something of a subversion, as he's more interested in just surviving.
  • Biopunk: Part of the Lost Technology, apparently. Including a large techno-organic, humanoid creature in the Hub.
  • Cannibal Clan: What Habsec has for all intents and purposes devolved into, even while still claiming to defend the Habitat.
  • Expy: From the threadbare remnants of uniforms worn by Habsec and their elite, they're evidently meant to evoke The Federation from Star Trek. Habsec grunts are even referred to as "Redshirts" after the shirts they still wear over their loincloths.
  • Future Imperfect: Subverted with the Engineers, who out of necessity try to keep as much knowledge and technical expertise as possible, including what they could still recover from their ancestors. Habsec meanwhile, though still having some idea of what the past was like, have developed a skewered understanding of history, including the justification for the "Emergency Measures."
  • Future Slang: Habsec is derived from "Habitat Security."
  • Gainax Ending: Hank Cho and the remaining Engineers manage to defeat Habsec and restore the Habitat's systems to full power. But doing so apparently required awakening the large humanoid techno-organic creature in the Hub.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: A major element of what the "Emergency Measures" still enacted by Habsec entails cannibalism, by taking a few lives so that the many may live. Over time, it's turned into an almost religious custom.
  • Lost Colony: The Habitat is one, and it's strongly suggested that it's been lost for a very long time.
  • Lost Technology: Much of the still-functional technology in the Habitat is effectively this, with few, save for the Engineers even capable of maintaining or replacing them. Habsec meanwhile tries to uphold certain forms of tech (like advanced weapons) as "forbidden."
  • Mini-Mecha: A number of these are still very functional, ranging from engineering rigs to some of the more military-grade mechs Habsec still have including some actual military gear.
  • The Needs of the Many: How the "Emergency Measures" were originally intended, and are still justified by Habsec long after its dubious use was deemed necessary.
  • Mayincatec: The overall motif throughout the comic gives this impression. This is especially evident with how the overgrown ruins even resemble Mesoamerican temples and tombs.
  • Ragnarok Proofing: While it's unclear just how long things in the titular Habitat have been as shown, it's evident that most anything that's not a robotic AI or whatever the Engineers keep running has long since decayed, become overgrown and broken down. What functional technology Habsec still has that isn't forbidden, meanwhile is largely running on fumes, with little to no means to really replace it. On the other hand, there are still quite a few functional craft and mechs still around, though it's suggested that their power is derived from the Habitat itself.
  • The Remnant: The Engineers are technically are all that remain of the Habitat's original civic authorities especially since they refused to take part in the "Emergency Measures" from the very beginning.
  • Ruins of the Modern Age: Played with. The Habitat's populace by and large live pitifully brutal lives in the shadow of futuristic marvels and luxuries long fallen to disrepair.
  • Scavenger World: The "armor" worn by Habsec and the elite are made out of the tattered remains of environmental gear and spacesuits.
  • Schizo-Tech: Spears and loincloths exist alongside functional mechs and lasers. Habsec goes a bit further though in that not only do they have access to 3D printers that allow them to produce machetes as well as phasers and high-powered lasers given the right punch card, but they still make use of modern lingo and military jargon; this further serves to contrast what Habsec used to be with their present degenerate state.
  • Space Clothes: The Engineers all wear futuristic overalls and working gear that remain intact. In contrast, the likes of Habsec have reverted to loincloths and scavenged "armor," though there's still enough of their original uniforms left to give this impression.
  • Starfish Language: The seemingly alien language the Engineers use, mainly to interface with the Habitat's systems. It's implied that it's derived from electronic code.