The first name that pops into my head when I think good horror comics is Steve Niles. He’s written series like Disciples, Winnebago Graveyard, and 30 Days of Night just to name a few great series. Today he teams up with artist Nat Jones in a new sci-fi horror series that aims to get under your skin.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Who knows what mysteries lie deep in the asteroid belt? When a mysterious, huge, and previously undiscovered asteroid looms over their ship, a small crew of blue-collar workers discovers a terrifying threat unlike anything they’ve ever seen. Now, the crew must escape the asteroid, but even if they do, will they be able to escape each other and anything they bring back with them?
Why does this matter?
We’ve seen good space horror before, but it’s a subgenre that isn’t given its time of day enough. What is more scary than the vacuum of space, the known (or unknown) that lies just beyond our reach, the entities that may not want us around? This series aims to reveal a horror that is unexpected and possibly scarier than anything humans could even fathom.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a slower paced and well plotted first issue that takes its time introducing the characters and the type of mission the characters are on. They’re doing research and aren’t the military style group seen in Aliens. They also have family and lives back on Earth and you’ll relate to their everyday lives. Like a good first 10 minutes of a TV show it gets you in tune with the setting and characters and then drops a cliffhanger in your lap for you to mull over until issue #2 arrives in a month.
The art by Nat Jones is similar to the somewhat visceral and sketchy style of the excellent Fell series drawn by Ben Templesmith. The space scenes are drawn very well with good use of texture and color to make the space environments look believable. The sketchy line style gives the reader an unnerving feeling not unlike Nile’s other work Disciples. There’s a good sense of scope too with the spaceship juxtaposed with giant objects to help convey the smallness of our characters and what they’re up against.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The pace of the book may be too slow for some and I have to admit I wish we got a little more info before the cliffhanger ended the issue. I’m certainly interested in what comes next, but we’re still very much in the dark with little to go on. Based on how the story is unfolding–and our knowledge of sci-fi stories like it–I’m sure it’ll be bad, but once the story closes you won’t have a clue what sort of threat may be looming. That leaves you a bit wanting.
Is it good?
A good first issue that well plotted though its pace could use a kick in the pants. That said, I’m on board for this sci-fi story and can’t wait to see where Niles and Jones take this story.