The universe is gone, destroyed and void of planets and life, caused by the Heat Death which took all life across the universe.
The only thing that survived the cold black void of space, is the last remaining human inhabitants that board The Orpheus, a large space colony that houses the last two thousand human beings in existence, all living in various sectors of habitat. Deva is the security director of the Orpheus that was currently undergoing therapy sessions regarding her survivor’s guilt until she receives news from her superiors, that one of their own has murdered someone within the station of the Orpheus. As the investigation begins, what will Deva and her team discover? What is the murder suspect hiding from the rest crew aboard the Orpheus? Is there actually something out there within the black void of the dead universe beyond the Orpheus? Why did the murder suspect discover and how will this change Deva to her core?
Now If I am, to be honest, I usually write reviews focused on superhero comics since it is one of my favorite genres and preferences. But, I always take time to check out independent content, especially stuff from image comics that deal with other genres aside from the superhero genre. So when I first saw this book, the title and its cover had me intrigued from the get-go, simply due to the mystery of not knowing what I’d get myself into. I tend to enjoy watching good science fiction, suspense, thriller, mystery and psychological horror stories every now and then so when picking up this book, I was happy that it was a fusion of those things.
Ryan Cady displays that he understands the world that he has built within this story, where there is structure and order within the futuristic station of the Orpheus. It’s a place that feels lived in, where an artificial intelligence that can recreate what the Heat Wave looked like when it snuffed out all the through a therapy session, or where there are different sectors within the station that feel like a combination between Alien, Judge Dredd, Blade Runner, Dead Space and Outlast (video game). I enjoyed the voice that Ryan Cady evokes through the character Deva, a security director suffering from survivors guilt, overseeing the last remnants of humanity, fearing the idea of what lies beyond the dull void outside of the Orpheus.
The main protagonist Deva is written as character that is confident, unwilling to put up with micromanagement from superiors, while also struggling with her own issues such as the responsibilities that she is tasked with. Despite her position, it’s refreshing to see that even she tries to keep in mind that there is a difference between running a tight ship in contrast to a police state, which is only a few of the problems that is on her mind. I think what makes Cady’s writing stand out is how the pacing of this first issue flows, it flows at a steady pace, allowing the reader to take their time reading through and analyzing the exchanges between characters to get fully fleshed out people that feel as real as the people that we interact with on the day today. I actually enjoyed that Cady took time to explore Deva’s personal struggles with depression because her situation is depressing, knowing that if anything happens to the Orpheus, the last inhabitants of humanity and life in the universe would die in an instant, with no record, and no one to care for. It’s the kind of stuff I tend to think about in the world of today where humanity is consumed by its politics and what it sees in the news instead of showcasing more positive solutions to the everyday struggles that humanity is dealt with. When you watch the news, especially on a 24/7 news cycle, it can be depressing and in his own way Cady channels that feeling through Deva, which makes it very fitting to the fall, and the month of October. In a way, It feels like those themes correlate well with Childish Gambino’s “Feels Like Summer” which is nice to think about as it is as bittersweet as the lyrics portray. Sidenote: When listening to some Telepopmusik tracks like “Into Everything” would fit really well with the beginning of this book which makes for an even more enjoyable reading experience.
The story is actually interesting, many comic book readers tend to see the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse or the aftermath of an alien invasion etc etc, but it’s not so often that there are stories that has a setting focused on the aftermath of near-universally extinction that is beyond the settings of earth. This leaves readers a lot to wonder about, leaving curiosity to inhabit the space of the story as the only living things to fear is not entirely what’s beyond the Orpheus, but more or less about what lies at the underbelly of it. Cady sets up enough foundation to leave readers invested to see this story develop, to see where Deva’s investigation takes her, and where it will take readers as well.
The artwork by Andrea Mutti accompanied with the colors and lettering of Russell and Peteri perfectly fit the kind of tone that the story is going for. It’s the perfect cinematic aesthetic that goes hand and hand in the same way that cinematographer and director work. I like the renderings of characters that Mutti illustrates with nice cell shaded designs that feel as gritty as it is clean. Accompanied with Russell’s colors, the book feels cold which visually fits the kind of atmosphere that the book evokes, given that its a noir in the void of dead space which leaves a lot of mystery as it evokes a sense of dread.
Infinite Dark is a promising comic that delivers a good mystery plot, and some action that leaves readers wondering where it will take them next. Deva’s journey into the darker parts of the Orpheus is a journey that seems worth exploring, and I think there is nothing better than to have a character to explore the darkness of space with, even if it means that one may not return. Definitely check this series out, especially if you’re a reader that enjoys noir’s, sci-fi, mystery, thriller, and horror, it’s worth checking out.