What up out there comic book fans! It’s Aaron here, with another comic book review. I struggled this week trying to pick what book to review. There were few number ones and I couldn’t decide what would be interesting enough to write about. I was going to go with ‘Spider-Man: City at War’, but if you played the recent Spider-Man video game, it’s a retelling of that story. So because of that i’m jumping back to last week for this review. I’ve chosen ‘Outer Darkness #6’ by John Layman. I talked about this book on Facebook the day the series premiered, but I’ve never done a formal review for it. A lot of things have happened since the series started and my original feelings about it have change slightly. I’ll explain in the review. Ready? Go!
’Outer Darkness’ is a fusion of Star Trek and Constantine. You follow the adventures of the starship, Charon. The background history of this book is that “humanity” has found a way to travel throughout the stars and reach deep space. But what they found there has changed everything we thought we knew about the universe. Demons and spirits occupy the darkest reaches of space and sentient life is their main source of food. Scientists have found a way to harness the power of these entities, but in doing so they invite their wrath while traveling from planet to planet. Now, all ships must have a team of exorcists to protect the crew from the “evils” of space. It’s a bit complicated to explain, and even reading the book I find myself a bit confused about the nature of this comic’s world. I will simple say, you will need to read this one from the beginning to understand exactly what is going on. In this issue we see the ‘Charon’ crash landed on an icy world. The cause; a demon is loose aboard the shop. Countless crew have been killed and what was left of them has been split up between an expedition squad and the squad hunting the demon on board the ship. The expedition crew is searching for a place on the planet to take the wounded, but what they don’t know is one of their members is possessed by a demon addicted to causing pain. I can’t say to much more because of spoilers, but I will say, these demons are pretty awesome.
When I first started reading this series, I was extremely excited about the concept and the characters that make up this series. As things progressed, I felt less excited about every issue because the book got caught up with having complicated “religious/scientific” things happen rather than just concentrating on the story itself. It’s hard to explain really without reading, so as I’m writing this, I’m still struggling to put it in the right words. It got complicated is what I’m trying to say I guess. In this issue though, things got back on track and we got to see the story progress and got some good insight into what the future holds for the series. Everything happens fast in ‘Outer Darkness’. A lot of times there is no carryover from issue to issue. Problems are solved by the end of the book and if there is carryover, it’s a new problem tied to the previous books events. In a way this is both good and bad. Good because you get a feeling of completion after every issue, but bad because they don’t dedicate much time to any of the action sequences or ample time for character development. I can look past it though because overall the books story and art are very strong together. Sperately is another story, but together the put together an interesting story, with good action and violence, backed up by the mystery of space and the supernatural. Honestly I feel like you would have a much better time reading this one when they release the trade. Issue to issue doesn’t really develop any fervor or anticipation. I would equate it too a kids cartoon. From episode to episode things aren’t really connected, so you could let it go for awhile and not lose any sleep.
Im biased to this type of book so writing this review was hard for me. I’m a big John Layman fan, as many others are, so you can’t go wrong with this one. But like I said earlier, wait for the trade. This book is a better read in big doses because there isn’t much hype or cliffhangers from issue to issue. I mean they’re there, but I didn’t feel any anticipation after the second issue. It’s still a good read though if you want to get into it. We got back issues here at Game Over Comics, and the trade should be out next month. As always keep supporting local comics. Peace!