Overview

Dark Matter #1

Review

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Dark Matter #1

Credits

  • Words: Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie
  • Art: Garry Brown
  • Colors: Ryan Hill
  • Story Title: Rebirth
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Jan 11, 2012

The writing team behind Stargate brings darkness to space. Well, more darkness.

Scribes Mallozzi and Mullie are best known for their TV work on not only Stargate, but also the upcoming Transporter: The Series, so it’s no surprise that this issue mixes sci-fi and action with confidence.

The first few pages reveal six astronauts waking up aboard an empty ship. They don’t know who they are or why they’ve found themselves in this situation, but thankfully pieces come together as between them the team quickly remember certain tasks such as restoring life support, fighting with a sword, or spouting facts about the human body. Amidst this confusion, they discover an albino android who isn’t as helpful as they would’ve hoped.

The 2009 film Pandorum sprang to mind after the opener, but apparently this series has been in the works for a while, originally as a TV pilot, so the apparent lack of originality can be forgiven.

Piecing together the mystery, they realize that they are crew members on a long voyage, perhaps delivering the weapons onboard. Good sci-fi can be either epic in its scope (Star Wars, Star Trek), or narrow (Alien). This first issue is obviously the latter, with room for the former. The slight problem is that there are too many characters at this point so we can’t hook on to anyone. Then again, it is too early to tell. I would suspect the remaining three issues will deal with power plays and conflict within the crew as they discover their role in their ship and just how they can work together to fend off the oncoming enemy.

This isn’t a story filled with pages of detailed corridors and high-tech machinery. Brown’s art style is of the sort often used on horror titles, with its sketchiness and dark palette, so it seems clear that is the direction this series is heading, with the central mystery that must be solved and the ever present danger of the unknown. He does handle emotion and action very well, with scenes of panic and close combat achieving what they need to, and the diverse body types of the six strangers is realized with skill.

However, I get the feeling that this will be a more satisfying read once all the issues can be enjoyed together, creating a greater narrative flow and more rounded characters. I would hope that next month’s issue contains the focus to increase the appeal as for now this debut is a slightly underwhelming shell to an intriguing premise.

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