When it comes to Sci-Fi, I personally enjoy a bit of humor mixed into the story. No matter how serious the subject matter is you need humor in order to ground the book in some sort of reality for the reader. The easiest way to do that is with humor. Sci-Fi is full of ideas that appear impossible at the time, so if there isn’t something a reader/viewer can attach to then it’s less human and harder to connect to and enjoy. In other words, humor makes it so you can wrap your head around a talking robot. Dark Matter was not only interesting and a very cool story, but it made me laugh… a lot! The opening sequence takes us into a space ship that’s blown a part of its exterior haul and affected the life support. This awakens the group of people locked in sleep chambers and one man in particular rushes to the bridge to restore the life support. He makes it there but is unsure as to what needs to be done. He’s then kicked in the head and forced out-of-the-way by a woman who then restores the life support. Before the two can rest easy a third man comes in and points his dual pistols at them. He asks them who they are and both give the same answer, “I don’t know.” Fortunately for them… neither does he.
This story cracked me up. I’m sure I wasn’t supposed to be laughing at the dialog as much as I did, but it was just too humorous not to. The overall story and writing was spot on. There is just the right amount of mystery/reveals and the characters are all interesting. It’s clear that each character has a certain skill set be it firearms, hand to hand combat or computers. It makes them an interesting group to be thrown together with no memories. The writing team of Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie have created an interesting Sci-Fi world and dumped a mystery smack dab in the middle.
With a Sci-Fi comic the art work is as important as the story. It's why a lot of these movie and TV Sci-Fi shows that are adapted into comics end up so poor. Dark Matter does not suffer from this problem. Artist Garry Brown has a great style for the book. He uses an interesting technic in which backgrounds and lower areas of the panel are left without much detail or completely blank altogether. Sure you get a few floating people, but something about it really works. As for the backgrounds, the lack of detail works to keep the frame from being a darkened messed. Brown’s characters are very detailed and if both foreground and background were detailed the same amount neither would stand out.
If you like Sci-Fi, but like me avoid Sci-Fi comics like the plague then don’t avoid this book. This is probably one of the most interesting Sci-Fi premises to hit comics in years and I can’t wait to see how it concludes in the fourth issue. Even if you’re not a Sci-Fi fan I would still recommend this book since it’s so well put together.
Writers: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie Artist: Garry Brown Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 1/11/2012