Space is a scary thing when you think about how inhospitable it is out there. No oxygen, freezing temperatures, incredible pressure, and we haven’t even gotten to the part about pebble sized asteroids moving at incredible speeds! Since seeing Event Horizon in the theaters, I can’t help but hope for more space horror fun, but it comes few and far between (Solaris and Pandorum notwithstanding) so when Titan Comics produced a hardcover space horror comic you’ve got my attention.
Writer Herik Hanna is relatively new to the comic scene, having written Badass most recently. Considering his work here though, I suspect we will be seeing more of him in the near future. This hardcover follows a prisoner coming to grips with what has happened to the ship he’s on—a prisoner transport. A wave of meteorites have smashed into it and created a bit of chaos. The ship has been breached, and in the wake of the disaster the crew decide to evacuate and leave the prisoners behind. Unfortunately Captain Mercer doesn’t want anyone to leave. Ever. He proceeds to hack everyone up and the protagonist is trying to understand not only what happened but his options.
That dog is starved!
Told through the protagonist’s narration, we learn a lot about space; for instance, how people going insane in outer space isn’t anything new. The solitude and distance from Earth does something to people. The idea of someone losing their mind in space isn’t anything new, and this book isn’t breaking new ground necessarily, but it’s told effectively at a good pace and with a steady delivery of reveals that works. Just be warned, I don’t think anyone will be too surprised by the twist.
To say artist Sean Phillips is a big part of why this book works would be an understatement. Known more for his work on Fatale and Sleeper, the man typically does crime stories in the noir vein. This book isn’t much of a noir, but it does have the dark touches noir exhibits, like the creeping shadows and panels that are angled to deliver a disturbing view of things. Phillips uses very square and rectangular panels in this book, used to transition the story and pull the reader closer and further visually. This helps create a sense of claustrophobia, or in some cases confusion as to where the violence is coming from.
Phillips isn’t known for his color, which this book probably could have used a bit more of, but he does use it to some effect when it gets really bonkers in the book. What do I mean by bonkers? How about a full circus of clowns and performers!
“In outer space,” you might say, to which I reply, “oh yes, it gets very lucid.”
Craziness includes talking bananas, naked ex-girlfriends wandering around in the ship and a corpse party complete with homemade sangria.
We need to escape but there go the escape pods. Rut row!
Is It Good?
Madness, horror, and outer space go together like peanut butter and jelly and like that great American comfort food this book will go down smooth. It’s a nice bite of entertainment, too. It’s short, but also cheap (currently less than 8 bucks on Amazon) and for the money it’s a nice escape into the void.