Containment #3


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Containment #3


  • Words: Eric Red
  • Art: Nick Stakal
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Nick Stakal
  • Story Title: Containment #3
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Mar 30, 2005

Things continue to go from bad to worse and it appears as if Earth’s first manned trip to Saturn will be remembered, just not for any of the right reasons.

Things just keep going wrong for the surviving astronauts. First, they were awakened from their cryogenic stasis a few years too early. Then they learned that this was because of a problem in the cryogenic machines that let some of the crew out without the proper blood transfusions, thereby turning them into cannibalistic zombies. The initial surviving crew members first decided to stick together, before the inevitable conflicts arise. One member gets bit by a zombie, then another astronaut attempts to sacrifice all the other crew members to save himself. Eventually some of the other crew members save themselves, but they realize they still need the mutineer, as he is the lone surviving medical staff member. This issue sees the team continue their trek across the spaceship, in an attempt to fix the oxygen leak and see if there is anyway they could save their former crew turned zombie killers.

Let’s get this out of the way first. Eric Red’s story is full of clichés. Clichéd and stereotyped characters, clichéd and cheesy dialogue, and rather clichéd story elements. However, having said that, this is a very fun book. Instead of being held back by these clichés, Red has done a marvelous job of making them work for him. This "zombies on a space ship" horror book plays all the parts of its story in exceptional fashion. It’s enjoyable in the same way any slasher and/or horror film is enjoyable. There really is no characterization, which is good because if you read issues 1 and 2, you know not everyone is going to survive. It’s a little amazing that with death and dismemberment lurking around every corner, some idiotic characters and cheesy dialogue not only become enjoyable, but really something to look forward to. Another thing that helps out with forgiving these story elements is the breakneck pace that Red has written into his story. The reader is frenetically thrust into each new conflict, even before the last one is finished. At the end of each issue, you will be amazed at how much Red can cram into such a fast paced book.

Like Red’s words, Stakal doesn’t try anything fancy with this book. I don’t know if IDW likes to have a standard style for their horror books, but his painted work seems very reminiscent of Ben Templesmith and Ashley Wood. And trust me, that isn’t a bad thing. Stakal gives the book a mysterious feel. Reading this book, one inherently knows from the artwork that things are going to be scary and that mostly, everything that happens is going to be bad. He somehow matches Red’s speed and the reader is never in question of what he is looking at. Stakal captures all the facial expressions of both the human and zombie characters. This is all brought together by the fantastically stylized coloring given to the book. It really looks like a horror book. Stakal keeps the lighting dim and the mood dark, and does so while maintaining the pace and never leaving the reader confused as to what they’re looking at.

Containment is easily turning into a very entertaining sci-fi/horror story. This certainly isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you enjoy watching the likes of Jason Vorhees kill teenagers or were given chills watching Alien, then you should definitely pick this book up. As long as you know what you’re getting into, Containment will not disappoint.

-Sam Moyerman

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