"Infinite Dark #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics / Top Cow Productions
Written by Ryan Cady
Illustrated by Andrea Mutti
Colored by K. Michael Russell
Lettered by Troy Peteri
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 14th, 2018
The Orpheus carries the last remnants of mankind through the far reaches of space as the universe dies. Well, that was a depressing sentence. To make matters worse, a murder has just been committed and Security Director Deva Karrell has to find out what happened without panicking the rest of the populace. There are those within the crew that may try to undermine her investigation and there is something dark and terrifying lurking nearby.
Sci-fi horror can be such a solid genre mash-up and Infinite Dark certainly plays in that wheelhouse. This book is more of a creeping terror instead of a survival story. We haven't quite identified what's going on or what could have caused a respected member of the crew to brutally murder someone else. This leads to a number of questions and an overall uneasy feeling as we dig into the story.
The atmosphere in Infinite Dark is creepy and foreboding. Colorist K. Michael Russell creates this sterile, dry environment as the characters move through the ship. The harsh florescent lights wash out some humanity, leaving little else but cold metal walls. This contrasts well with the dark sector, a section that has been practically abandoned. It's like a dreary, dystopian land full of rust and decay.
|Click images to enlarge|
There's an AI system named Sm1th monitoring the Orpheus. It's an omnipresent authority and I'm not sure of where its allegiances lie just yet. It could go either way. This thing could just decide to push everyone out an air lock and I wouldn't be that surprised. Letterer Troy Peteri gives it an inhuman feel with its word balloons, appearing out of thin air in blocking, robotic font.
We don't know who to trust yet in Infinite Dark. Karrell is the main character, but there's some evidence that she might not be a reliable narrator. This leads to some of my favorite kind of horror tropes, where we can't entirely trust what a character is seeing. When you're forced to question reality, a whole new level of terror can arise.
There's an added emphasis on mental health in the story, specifically as it pertains to Karrell. She's recently been through a traumatic event and the other members of the crew are pushing her to go through additional rounds of therapy to cope with it. This makes sense given the dire and hopeless situation they're all in. If the people in charge start to fall apart, all of humanity is lost.
|Click images to enlarge|
Karrell's therapy is done in the sim-system, which works kind of like the holodeck from Star Trek. Artist Andrea Mutti creates this wide, beautiful landscape that Russell fills with a beautiful swath of color. This is what once was when mankind lived planetside. This is not without flaws, as there are occasional glitches in the rendering, creating these pixelized spots reminding you that this is all an illusion.
This peaceful scene is disturbed by a shadowy entity that has been haunting Karrell's thoughts since she nearly took a trip into open space. Mutti creates this strange amorphous monstrosity, like a child's nightmare come to life. Its limbs are long and extend out into these sharp talons. There's not really a face, but you know for sure that its head would open up to reveal rows of jagged teeth.
This creature plays into the overall conspiracy feeling of Infinite Dark. It's a chilling thought to be the last living members of all of mankind only to find out that you weren't alone out in the cold openness of outer space. Writer Ryan Cady uses this and a few other items to heighten the tension, creating a conspiracy of sorts with Karrell at the center.
Infinite Dark works on a few levels, merging not only the genres of horror and sci-fi, but adding in a thriller as well. This creates a tense read full of twists and turns where no one is safe and hope is fading fast.