Outer Darkness, Issue One

Creator/Writer John Layman

Creator/Artist Afu Chan

Letterer Pat Brousseau

Editor Jon Moisan

Cover Artist Afu Chan

Logo Design Andres Juarez

Production Design Carina Taylor

I had no expectations going into this book whatsoever but I had hopes it’d be good just because I love science fiction, it’s my favorite genre. A few pages in I started to feel a little disappointed due to the art and muted weird color work and almost stilted and overly curse-word heavy dialog. I don’t mind foul language at all, but the over use of it can feel lazy and unrealistic. As the book went on the the art and way the characters spoke to each other started to grow on me, they’re all sailors after all, and by the end I was pretty impressed by the creativity and new concepts introduced introduced in the story. Straight up i’m excited to read issue 2.

With in a few pages we start to see what makes this story different from others I’ve read in the sic-fi-ships-in-space-thing, the main character Joshua Jerome Rigg is called to the bridge of the ship he’s serving on because of an emergency thats breaking out. The ship is being attacked by strange ghost-like entities as they warp through a strange dimension that i’m assuming is called the darkness, Riggs’ buddy/conspirator Agwe informs Rigg that they’ve stumbled into an “unmapped Necro Storm.” Ha! I loved that! This after a nice full 2 page spread showing the ship traveling through the darkness with strange skeletal looking fish-like creature things carrying asteroids or rocks in their bony claws. I’m really loving it. Then crew members on the bridge start being possessed and puking up ectoplasm and Rigg decides to ditch their cargo and get out of trouble. At this point the Captain of the shows up demanding the ship carry on, Rigg and Aqwe mutiny, which is never a good idea on a ship lest you want to end up in front of the Old Man after cooling you heals in the brig.

Later Rigg and Aqwe end up on a space station in the Epsilon Eridani System that looks like a floating Japanese temple, again this is awesome, with Rigg drinking seriously and Agwe disgusted with how Rigg’ dealing with their situation.

The next thread of the story is started with an Admiral showing up and offering Rigg command of a ship, the Charon, a deal that would result in all charges going away and a sweat insurance deal if Rigg will command the Charon on a 9 month mission out into “the Outer Darkness” which sounds pretty dangerous, and pretty awesome.

After these events is when I really started to get into this book, Rigg gets to his new ship, and new concepts and ideas start to show themselves, the ship is powered by a God Engine, which it seems is a engine literally powered by an ancient Sumerian God that has to be fed “tribute” which ends up being some very unlucky aliens and a human. The art showing the god feeding was great, I also loved Rigg’ disgust and resignation to the act of feeding the engines entity. Rigg was surprised by the fact that his ship, which he’d served aboard previously, had switched over from the old Hate Engine, again, love it! I really want to find out more about this new universe that Layman and Chan are building in this book, I want to know how the ships work, how the ships are powered. I want to know more about the ships holy men that are briefly referred to. I just want to know more.

This book was unique and different and really exceeded my expectations, I can’t wait to read the second issue, which thankfully I already have waiting for me.

Read it!

P.S. I just realized that this didn’t post last week when I hit publish.

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