Outpost Zero #12
Writer: Sean Kelly McKeever
Artists: Jean-Francois Beaulieu & Alexandre Tefenkgi
After the infuriating response of the populace of Outpost Zero in #11, one might think it’s time for some good news. Not so. No. If anything McKeever, Beaulieu, and Tefenkgi have thrown in more tension and stress for all the inhabitants. And for the readers also.
This issue, unlike many of its predecessors, takes a rather choppy approach to storytelling. I’d become rather familiar with the page space following Alea and Sam deeper into the bowels of the outpost. This issue, however, takes a different, and might I say, welcome, tact. It flirts with the three main storylines, two of which are somewhat forgotten in the last 3-4 issues. Not only does #12 follow Sam and Alea into forgotten depths, but it also catches us up with Karen, Lyss, and Mitchell. Karen struggles with the loss of family, while Mitchell tries to help Lyss work through her trauma.
With so many plot threads in this issue, it’s difficult to allow much page space for any one of them. While this does make the issue feel a bit choppy, that can be forgiven. The real drawback is the lack of depths the characters are shackled with. Of course, regular readers already know these characters, so their actions are less of a stretch than they might have been, but there is a lack of buildup to some potentially moving moments. I don’t know what the fix would have been for this lack, unfortunately. Surely, each character-plot is unique, but the emotional aspects of this issue rush past without much weight.
I love the art of Outpost Zero. This issue is no exception. Alexandre Tefenkgi and Jean-Francois Beaulieu create a cinnamic experience with their paneling, especially when there are 2-3 characters in a panel. The art easily implies what is off-panel, but nonetheless part of the larger scene. This is especially well done in a scene when Lyss is boxing a punching bag. Mitchell isn’t in the panels, not at first, yet readers know from previous issues, that Lyss doesn’t like the fights, so why would she be boxing? It is no surprise that Mitchell is there, trying to help her. Since most of the story transpires in the outpost the environments are similar, but not the same. This is a credit to the artists. The world is persistent in the outpost, but never monotonous, which is a risk this comic runs in terms of setting.
Outpost Zero #12
A rather fragmented issue, yet one that will surely lead to greater things. Just wait for the ending.