Outer Darkness #9: Another Gloriously Gory, Horror-Filled Issue

by Olly MacNamee

With mutinous crew members plotting behind Captain Riggs’ back, The Charon is far from the family friendly environment of the USS Enterprise. How Riggs can remain so calm is beyond me, as mutinous thoughts turn to mutinous actions in this issue. Stories of cast members disliking William Shatner are infamous, but I doubt even they wanted to stab him in the back for real.

Finding a seemingly stranded space-ship, the Ouroboros, Riggs and a select few of the crew go onboard to investigate, only to be met with further horrors. The crew of The Charon are one unlucky lot. I bet they dream of a day when their only troubles were Tribbles. This isn’t that day.

John Layman continues to spice up this familiar sci-fi sub-genre with scenes of starting violence and gore and creating a thoroughly enjoyable space-faring saga that makes the likes of Star Trek look tame in comparison. Yes, Kirk and his crew had to face off, time and again, against God-level threats, but in Outer Darkness the threats are far more immediate and sudden. There’s no megalomaniac offering up exposition for their actions. There’s often just action.

Afu Chan continues to add a touch of the retro in all of his Manga-esque design work and colours, giving the whole comic book the sense of belonging to a similar era to that which spawned Star Trek. He doesn’t shy away from the horror, though, with a lot of blood spilt in this issue.

It’s a fast-paced book that continues to intrigue me, especially after Rigg’s becomes suspicious of the mutiny being plotted behind his back. He ain’t no Caesar, but if I were him, I’d beware the Ides of March. And sit with your back to the wall at all times.

The plot thickens, and the blood spills freely, but how much longer can Riggs keep living like this? If he lives past this first season at all, that is?

Outer Darkness #9 is out now from Image Comics/Skybound.

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