There’s all sorts of science fiction, from the monster under the bed to alternate dimension-hopping heroes, but the same thing remains no matter when or where the story takes place: people. Without them we’d have very little interest, because the human condition is so interesting and compelling to everyone. That’s exactly why I loved the first issue of Deep Gravity, but does it have a case of the sophomore slumps? Is it good?
Deep Gravity #2 (Dark Horse Comics)
In a nutshell, this series is about the human race finding a planet of plantlike creatures that are extremely dangerous three years from Earth. Unfortunately you can’t live on the planet for very long before it poisons you, so humans come and go every six years, but when the ships get rocked by meteors what will they do? On top of that the ship most of the characters are on is filled with very dangerous creatures that were being sent back to Earth. Uh oh. Uncaged monstrous creatures, a spaceship hovering over a foreign planet that wants to kill you and only hours of precious oxygen left. Yeah, this ain’t good.
The last issue introduced a love affair where the male protagonist flew all the way to this foreign planet just so he could speak to the apple of his eye for the day or two before she went back to Earth. Now that’s commitment. Lucky for him the meteor takes out the ships, so now they’re forced to hang out a hell of a lot longer. That storyline takes a back seat in this issue as the threat of dying in outer space takes hold. Writers Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko, who’ve done great work on Star Wars: Legacy, are on script duties here and you can tell due to the solid pacing.
In a lot of ways this issue is like an episode of Star Trek in that there are other things going on, but the focus in this episode is staying alive as the ship has been torn apart. Unfortunately there aren’t many alien monsters in this issue, which were a highlight last time, but the general threat of staying alive in outer space is done well. A main story element is watching the characters try to keep their cool as the group is losing it. It’s not the most riveting of material, but it’s done well.
Unfortunately the events in this issue just aren’t that interesting. The real monster madness stuff we were introduced to take a back seat and this issue is more of a setup of the stakes at hand. The fact that it takes nearly every page of this issue to do so is a bit disappointing. You’ll still be right there with the characters, but get to the good stuff already!
The art by Fernando Baldó does its job, but I can’t say it’s all that entertaining seeing characters chit chat about their fates in the tight box that is their wrecked spaceship. When a monster does show up it’s grand, but it’s too little too late. Basically put, Baldó doesn’t get much of a chance to show off what he can do in the issue.
Spoiler alert: Marshall doesn’t make it!
Is It Good?
More like a so-so episode of Star Trek rather than one of the primo episodes with the Borg, but as far as science fiction operas go it’s not bad.