Considering this title has the same writer as my top indie book of 2013 (The Dead), it’s hard not to be biased considering I’m already a fan of his work. That said, this issue has a totally different vibe than The Dead, with more of a sci-fi and bleaker feel to it. The story starts out with a bit of an introduction. There’s a team of astronauts who are on some type of mission (we aren’t told exactly their purpose), but end up crash-landing on an unknown planet. The story is unrelenting and intense right out of the gate, with one of the enraged crew members named David pointing a futuristic-looking pistol at another crew member, Kurt. David thinks that everyone is contaminated, he says the planet they landed on isn’t right, and refuses to get off the ship. One of the women on the ship named Mara assures him that she ran tests and nobody is contaminated. In a psychotic fit of rage, David shoots at Mara, but misses and gets three bullets to the midsection courtesy of Kurt. The captain of the ship, a woman named Raal, requests that one of the crew members, Henry, fix the ship. He says that he can’t do anything to save the ship and that they’ve totally wrecked it. She says that he’s useless to her. Henry replies “I guess I am,” seeming to not really think anything of it. Raal then calls for a crew meeting and says they need to have a serious talk.
During the meeting, Raal lets everyone know due to their dire situation, she’s putting protocol four into place. Normally, they say this would consist of keeping food rations away from people that aren’t essential to the group until they starve to death. However, Raal has a way of doing this that’s more ‘merciful’ in her eyes. Problem is, these useless crew members won’t go away as easily as she thought…
I loved the art; it keeps up very well with the extreme bleakness and dread that the writing puts forth. It’s also very detailed; I noticed I was able to remember characters’ names and faces pretty easily throughout the book since the crew members already have their own characteristics thanks to this great creative team. The department where the art really shined for me was the overall emotion of the book, both what the characters put forth and what the reader feels. For example, when Raal tells Kurt to get rid of David’s body, he just kind of blankly stares away like killing isn’t anything to him. A few panels later Mara can’t take looking at all the blood and throws up. After, she looks genuinely horrified with teary eyes and a look of despair. I don’t think she has any idea what’s in store for her or the rest of the crew, but personally I can’t wait to find out.
If you’re a fan of sci-fi, horror, or just great storytelling and art, you have to check this book out (I mean just look at the cover and tell me it doesn’t look awesome!). I’m not sure if there are any physical copies available (if there is, I need one), but you can check out a little bit of what I covered in the review here!
Writer: James Maddox Artist: Stephen B. Scott Website