Deep Gravity #1 (Comics Review)
Earlier this year, the comics writing duo of Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman became two of my favourite writers because of their work on Star Wars: Legacy II, which chronicles the life of a distant descendant of the Solo-Skywalker clan, Ania Solo and the times she lives in. The two of them told a really involved story featuring Ania, and the first two volumes of the series are among my top favourite reads of the year, by far. That’s why when I heard that the two of them were going to be working on some original stuff for Dark Horse, I got really excited.
Deep Gravity #1 pretty much meets my expectations and then some. It tells the story of human colonisation and exploitation of a distant planet and it retains many great elements of classic space opera matched with some more modern stuff. As the first issue, this one is just setting the scene for now, but Corinna and Gabriel have done some pretty damn good work here, and I’m going to be sticking around for a couple more issues at the least, no question. And as for the art by Fernando Baldo, Nick Filardi and Nate Pieko, that too is pretty impressive and has a pretty fitting feel and atmosphere.
The alien and rather inhospitable world of Poseidon has some great benefits to offer humanity but it is also a dangerous world to live on. Which is why the Maelstrom Science and Technology Corp cycles its personnel on the world every three years so that they don’t begin to suffer the debilitating effects of staying too long on Poseidon. As our story starts, we meet with Steven Paxon, a structural design engineer who is part of one of the rotation and supply runs to Poseison. Corinna and Gabriel quickly immerse you into the story, presenting a tantalizing mystery in the form of Paxon himself for we know nothing of why he gave up a cushy, high-paying desk job to shuttle around to Poseidon.
The story continues on from there with Corinna and Gabriel building up the dangers of Poseidon bit by unexpected bit. That’s what I loved the best because they sicced the planet’s dangers on the main cast at every turn and each time it was a different type of beast, but no less dangerous than the other. “No pain, no gain” seems to be the mantra and I kind of liked that. The humans on Poseidon weren’t too powerful, and neither was the planet itself. There was a fine balance at play here and I respected and enjoyed it in equal measure.
And the thing is that it all builds together, for there are dangers to Paxon even before he ever reaches Poseidon and once on the planet the dangers don’t end, they get more complex and more threatening. Plus he has some relationship issues to deal with as well so the poor guy gets off to a really rough start by any measure.
What I really enjoyed there in the end though was the relationship that Paxon had with Michelle, and the friend he made on the trip to Poseidon, Greg. The latter friend forms an important part of the narrative and the comic is as much about him as it is about Paxon and his many troubles.
Reading through this issue, I got the sense that the world of Poseidon had many secrets that the humans had not discovered as yet, especially given the cliffhanger ending, and that there were many surprises left to be discovered. The hook at the end is what really sold the comic for me in the final estimation, and I can’t wait to get back into this world.
The pencils in this issue are by Fernando Baldó with colours by Nick Filardi and letters by Nate Pieko of Blambot. Gabriel and Matthew Wilson are on the fantastic cover there. The art in this issue was as great as the story itself. Poseidon feels like a dangerous place at every turn and the monster designs by Baldó are also evocative of the completely alien nature of the planet. His characterwork is also on point and with the might of the great Nick Filardi’s colours behind him, Deep Gravity #1 really does stand out in the end. Some of the inking here and there felt a bit heavy, and some characters’ facial expressions felt a bit incomplete here and there, but all in all, solid word.
Fantastic issue and a must-read.
Posted on August 21, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged Aliens, Comics, Comics Review, Corinna Bechko, Dark Horse Comics, Deep Gravity, Fernando Baldó, Gabriel Hardman, Maelstrom Science and Technology Corp, Matthew Wilson, Mike Richardson, Monsters, Nick Filardi, Review, Review Central, Science Fiction, Space Exploration, Space Opera. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.