Outer Darkness #6
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Afu Chan
With the sixth chapter of this new amazing series, we get the finale to the first story arc and it is quite a ride. In this issue, the crew of the starship Charon is still stranded on an icy planet, having to deal with a demon aboard what’s left of the ship and a possessed crew member, Sato Shin, trying to lure the others towards their death. Despite the focus of issue #5 being the crash and Shin’s double-cross on the crew, this chapter focused more on the demon released on the Charon and it’s fighting against Cpt. Rigg and his team of exorcists with lots of action.
Despite loving how the action took place in this issue, I thought the dialogues were a bit off. What is discussed in them is fine and plausible, Administrator Prakash informing captain Rigg of Shin’s suspicious actions, but John Layman attempts at keeping Cpt. Rigg’s lines witty all the time, which worked for the last issues, felt a bit forced in a situation as dire as the one in this chapter. There’s also a quick joke sequence where Cpt. Rigg displays, once more, his dislike for cats, yet unexplained.
Other than that, I have to recognize that this comic contains unbelievably well-composed action scenes. Good pace, crystal clear on everything that’s happening and where every member of Rigg’s team is located during the conflict. Layman manages to keep the action going as he develops the execution of an organized combat strategy, avoiding unnecessary dialogues this time. The pivot of the comic’s focus form Shin’s evil plot to the demon on the ship was a welcome surprise, seeing that it saved Shin’s story as a clever setup for the next story arc and a development to First Officer Satalis’ character.
Afu Chan’s artwork remains one of my favorites. In this issue he, yet again, displays an incredible ability to portray scary creatures, giving Sato Shin a demon form, and incredibly detailed gore elements that made me shiver as I read through the comic. The crystal clear action scenes are complemented by the artwork beautifully, utilizing many different techniques to indicate the characters’ movements, ranging from simple motion lines to trails of dust lifting from the ground.
Another aspect worth noticing, was the backgrounds, especially on the main action sequence. Those could have been composed mainly by the ship’s interior and a few zoom-line panels, but Chan added a spin to it, composing the background to the fight with mathematical formulas, which are supposed to be the protection wards cast by the mathematicians, in a gorgeous orange gradient color scheme.
The last issue may have been a bit dull, but this one makes it clear that the creative team saved the best for last. Filled with action, gore and mathematical-magik this chapter makes for a great finale and makes me excited for the next one.
Outer Darkness #6
Last issue may have been a bit dull, but this one makes it clear that the creative team saved the best for last. Filled with action, gore and mathematical-magik this chapter makes for a great finale and makes me excited for the next one.