Traveling to an alien world is a very dangerous thing, especially when alien monsters live there who want to eat us. Is it good?
Deep Gravity #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
When it comes to science fiction that is feasible in our not-too-distant future, we’re usually stuck with mutant monsters attacking people in Antarctica. There is some spaceship centric-science fiction but it’s more than likely way too advanced to imagine existing in our lifetime. There are a few though, like sci-fi novel Leviathan Wakes for instance, which ground their stories in very real, and very dangerous space travel. Dark Horse must understand there’s a need to fill this niche, because their latest series is right there with a very realistic look at space travel.
The comic opens with an astronaut working on the outside of a spaceship attempting to repair the damn thing—with a wrench no less—so they can enter a planet’s atmosphere. It’s an alien planet named Poseidon that takes three years to travel to from Earth. The planet is mostly water and covered in plant creatures that are mammalian in nature. There are no trasnporters, the bridge isn’t anything special and everyone is about as normal as a crew on a oil rig today. Considering the opening page was filled with peril and revolved around a dude screwing a bolt down, you get the idea that humanity isn’t so safe on this expedition.
This can’t be good…
The script is written by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko, the two behind the extremely well plotted and paced Star Wars Legacy and it’s quickly apparent their skills are just as strong on this one. The human element is focused on a guy who just traveled the three years to talk to a girl who ran off on the last three year expedition. She’s leaving shortly… yes, the dude is going to wait six full years just so he could talk to her for a few minutes, and he wants her back. We don’t get much time with them, mostly because the alien planet and bigger story needs a lot of time, but it’s obvious their relationship is complex enough to hold this thing together. Basically put, the woman feels trapped, as trapped as you might feel in cryostasis on the three year trip.
What did I say?!
The story is by Mike Richardson and it’s good at showing the alien planet. These creatures are wild and it’s cool to see the organic plant-like nature to the mammalian look and feel. I will say this though, the idea of a corporation getting a contract to make these expeditions, and it’s all bout money and not about safety or exploration, is very passé. How many times do we have to see corporations be the bad guy? Of course they are messing things up currently in the world, so it makes sense, but it’s nothing new that is for sure.
Art by Fernando Baldó—who I believe is an unknown up till now—is quite good. It has that darker, grittier look Hardman has on Star Wars: Legacy. His facial expressions are strong, especially when in shadow. The guy knows how to nail fear and frustration, and the aliens are quite interesting to look at, too. Above all else the art is grounded, which helps set the stage for how perilous it is for our characters. We’re all bags of meat, and when we’re three years from Earth working on a planet that’ll kill you in six, it better feel grounded.
This issue succeeds at setting up the plot, the alien world and a very basic (at least at this point) human relationship. If you dig aliens, you’ll fall in love with this instantly, but if you’re looking for character development and a human story don’t expect much, yet. Knowing the script writers on this work it’s going to get really good in that department when given a little more time.
That’s what you get for not listening to me!
Is It Good?
It’s good! Alien monsters and science fiction fans of space operas will fall in love instantly.