I’ve mentioned before that I love reading space opera, a lot, and recently I’ve started reading horror SF as well and am having quite a fun time of it with Caliban from Avatar Press and Deep Gravity from Dark Horse. The latter is a hot new title from Dark Horse and in its first two issues it has had a fairly good run, creating a new space opera vision that involves lots of suspense and thrills while also providing some fun monster action. Writers Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman have been quite incredible on this so far and so has the artwork from Fernando Baldó and others.
Deep Gravity #3 picks up from where the previous issue left off and we continue on with all the surviving scientists and crewmembers of the ship trying to get off. They can’t take anything for granted however, particularly as there might be a saboteur on board after all, and because many of the animal specimens that the ship was transporting back to the home world are now on the ship. There are a lot of twists and turns in this issue that keep you guessing what’s going to happen next, and the artwork complements that every step of the way, especially when it comes to the monsters.
Last time we were with these characters, the big mystery was what had caused the Vanguard to blow up as it did. It was sudden and inexplicable, with no immediate cause-factor, and the characters were completely in the dark, which was the same for the readers as well. In Deep Gravity #3, we learn what caused the malfunction and for what purpose. It all seems rather inane now, but I’m sure at the time that it all made sense to the people behind the decision, and that’s kind of what counts, you see.
But he thing is, that the characters are still incredibly in control of the plot. An overwhelming majority of the issued deals with the survivors trying to get out from where they are trapped and towards the bridge deck so that they can at least have some chance of contacting Poseidon and explaining what is happening about the Vanguard. All the characters that I liked in the previous issues were back for another kickass offering, and it was kind of really thrilling to watch as they faced up to one of the worst monsters of Poseidon and made it out, although just barely.
Mike Richardson, who has done the story, and Corinna and Gabriel, who’ve done the script, show with this issue that they really understand the hectic claustrophobic nature of the story itself. Risks must be taken for survival and that’s the underlying theme of this issue, coming up again and again all the way through. After all, when a monster like the one pictured in the cover there is pursuing through an interstellar ship, you have no choice but to run forwards and keep on running.
Something else that is relevant and important here is that the story is paced quite well, same as with the previous issues. Given that much of the story is an unbroken sequence with the survivors, we really get to see what kind of individuals they all really are. The “heroes” were still heroes for me, and seeing each of them fight back in their own way was kind of liberating to picture and experience. But like I said, sacrifices have to be made and there are plenty of character deaths in this issue, keeping up with the general vibe of the comic and the story alike.
Fernando Baldó’s is back on the artwork with Nick Filardi on colours, Nate Piekos of Blambot on letters and the cover by Gabriel and Matthew Wilson. As mentioned before, this issue is quite the claustrophobic one and the characters are all fidgeting about it all the time. Fernando did a great job with the body-language and with the general characterwork while the same could be said of Nick for his own tasks. Their monster design is also fairly ruthless and shocking and awe-inspiring, which is the kind of thing that I was really looking forward to on this blasted cursed land.
Fairly good second follow-up!