Outpost Zero #9
Writer: Sean Kelly McKeever
Artists: Jean-Francois Beaulieu & Alexandre Tefenkgi
Somewhere, deep below Outpost Zero, is a secret. It causes anomalies in the form of power dips and gravsync distortions. But why? Sam and Alea won’t rest until they find out.
Sam flies through the air, dropping down below the inhabitable parts of the outpost, to a lower level. The gravsync anomaly lets him glide down without harm. A moment later Alea follows him. They take their time exploring a ruined part of the outpost. Deep below the inhabited sections, they find a path to where the anomaly originates. . . at least they think. At the same time Alea’s favorite team, Discovery Team, disbands, leaving her uninspired about the future other than her adventures with Sam. Discovery Team is abolished due to the dangers people face, in #8, Kanaan was killed. Alea makes a promise to Lyss: No matter how much she and Sam explore, nobody will get hurt. But that’s not the type of thing you can promise someone when you live at the edges of the known universe.
Sadly, some of the most intriguing characters of Outpost Zero haven’t featured for a couple of issues now. The Chief, Sam’s adoptive mother, has been distant from the plot, so too has Mitchell despite the intrigue built around his whole family in early issues. The only two characters that really get the page-space are Sam and Alea, which, I think, clues the reader into whose story Outpost Zero really tells. While both Alea and Sam feel more complex and interesting than ever before, other characters feel more distant. Hopefully, we’ll get caught up on other characters’ trails in the coming issues.
As has been the norm in Outpost Zero since #1, the art is appropriate, though doesn’t defy any expectations. Jean-Francois Beaulieu and Alexandre Tefenkgi are at their best when they’re using character body language to communicate emotions with the reader rather than facial expressions. Since the character design relies so much on simple lines and shading, it’s a testament to the art that no character emotion is ever unclear. Even in a series of panels that show different people in different places without any dialogue, nothing is lost.
The result of a deepening story, strong protagonists, and solid artwork is an issue that ends with a shocking revelation, the magnitude of which will only be made clear next month.
Outpost Zero #9
A busy issue that is over way too fast and will keep you wanting the story to continue.