New sci-fi properties can be difficult to craft. There are so many well-known properties that when a new IP roles around it’s almost instantly compared to its predecessors. It’s difficult to tell a new story when you’re constantly being compared in such a way. The only way to avoid this is to do something different. Unfortunately, Deep Gravity, didn’t do enough differently. Before I tell you what it’s compared to understand that it’s only a few key elements and nothing from the plot line. It’s kind of like Avatar unfortunately. I hate to say that, but two elements are extremely similar. The first being a harsh planet that’s designed to kill humans, this takes form in the fact that the star is a red dwarf and so the gravity is denser. Your joints wear out faster and people can only survive for a certain amount of time in the harsh elements.
The second is the wild life. Now there is one big difference in that the wildlife in Deep Gravity it’s a cross between animal and plant, so much so that they can’t classify it as either. But it’s deadly and trying to kill them whenever it possibly can.
The rest of the story is easily summed up; a crew has spent three years in flight to the planet to bring new workers for their shift. People work a three year shift only to spend the next three in hibernation getting back home and all-in-all a nine year trip. Our main character has joined the crew shuttling the hibernating workers back and forth in order to talk to his ex-girlfriend. That’s his entire motivation.
The story is average. I found the details of the work force and the three year travel to be interesting, but that’s not a story. I get the character’s motivation, but once he finds his ex-girlfriend he puts in minimal effort to talk to her. Even she says that he’s wasted six years of his life for a conversation. And on that note why do I care about their relationship? He had three years to get over her and didn’t and she had no interest in continuing the relationship so… do we really care if they continue?
The part of the story that actually bothered me aside from the relationship questions was the scene with our main character and his friend. I won’t say how, but the friend loses his legs and now can’t make the trip back home like he was supposed to. It’s not exactly the main characters fault, but any one that just lost their legs would be likely to blame him. Instead we have the calmest person in the world. He just lost both of his legs, he can’t go home and so he must stay on the planet for three years before catching the next three year ride back to get prosthetic legs… did I mention he’s not mad?
I don’t care if you’re a saint or have never lashed out at someone before in your life, but from most of the stuff I’ve seen when a person loses their legs they go through emotional steps. It’s a difficult thing to deal with and overcome and this dude is just like “life happens, at least I’m not dead.” Which hey it’s true, but now he’s alive with no legs stuck on a planet he wasn’t supposed to stay on and basically the next six years of his life are wasted. I just don’t buy that he’s positive about the whole thing.
That one scene really bothered me, but other than that the dialogue is very believable and had a nice flow.
The art is solid for the most part. There’s no lack of details, but some of the character models are very similar. At one point I had to take a double take because I thought the same face had been drawn three times in the same panel. It was close, but there’s slight differences in the width of the face and the eyebrows… that was it though. The plant/animal creatures were interesting and well-drawn.
I wasn’t expecting the world from this issue, but I wasn’t hoping to be entertained. I honestly hoped that it would be another surprise hit like Dark Matter which was also a spacey sci-fi story from Dark Horse. I’ll check out the second issue, but honestly there wasn’t anything special about the debut issue of Deep Gravity.
Writers: Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko Artist: Fernando Baldo Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/30/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital