Outer Darkness #2 Is More Leatherface Than Lost In Space

by Olly MacNamee

This week sees the release of John Layman and Afu Chan’s Outer Darkness #2, a sci-fi horror comic that really tickled my fancy when it debuted last month. Well, issue #2 continues in the same vein as the first issue as newly appointed captain and all round rogue, Joshua Riggs, decides he wants to put his crew through some pretty hardcore practice drills, which are far from anything Captain Kirk put his own crew through in all their years together. Well, Riggs certainly takes his ship and his people boldly into places where no-one should go, ever!

Thinking that real life threats are a far better substitution than anything a holodeck could imagine, Riggs takes no time in chewing his crew out before throwing them headfirst into mortal danger to see how they react to the kind of ghoulish creations Chan is clearly have great fun designing. This is not your average sci-fi soap opera, that’s for sure. More Leatherface than Lost in Space. 
It’s an action packed issue that deftly introduces us to Riggs’ team while also glimpsing the real people they become when faced with diabolical space demons and phasing phantoms. A far more effective narrative method that simply having them sit around a table and explain what they do, which seemed to be the case for a short while at the start of this issue, lulling us into a false sense of security. Well, until ghosts and ghouls start materialising out of nowhere. With Afu keeping the lights dimmed down with his choice of colour pallet, it has the feel of Alien’s The Nostrodamus about it all, and forewarning the reader that this isn’t going to be an easy mission. A suitably dark, dulled aesthetic that only highlights the blood – and there’s plenty of that this issue – splattered around the ship when it’s spilt.

With The Charon’s crew now introduced to us, and Riggs showing some reservations, we are all caught up and ready for the next step in this fascinating quest into the outer darkness. Wherever that may take them next. You may not be able to hear someone scream in space, but you can certainly hear them arguing!
Outer Darkness #2 is available now from Image Comics/Skybound.

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