On February 5th, Titan Books released Dead Space: Liberation, a prequel graphic novel which ties in to the current game in the series (Dead Space 3) They also re-released Salvage, Christopher Shy’s first Dead Space comic, set between the original Dead Space and Dead Space: Aftermath.
I must confess, I’m in love with Dead Space. I have been entrenched in this sci-fi horror universe, even before the games came out. There was a online prequel game held prior to the release of Dead Space and the game as a prize (or the prize), which I had won. I watched all of the prequel animated comic videos written by Antony Johnston, who also wrote the game’s dialogue, with art by Ben Templesmith. Shortly before the release of Dead Space 2, I received a beautiful art print of a necromorph and a print of a necromorph in Rorschach style. I shortly afterwards ran to my local game story to pick up Dead Space 2. Lastly, all of the animated films are on Netflix, and I have seen those as well. Needless to say, I was excited to dive into the Dead Space universe once again.
Salvage, written by Antony Johnston,with art by Christopher Shy, the story revolves around a group of freelance miners who find the USG Ishimura and board it to find the aftermath shown in the first game. The art was wonderfully done. Gritty, dark, gruesome, and has quite the realistic look; I thought it was great and fit with the tone of the story. Most of the images tend to pop and help immerse the viewer. Now, the unfortunate part was, I was expecting a comic book, but mostly got a picture book with words. The dialogue seemed thrown in and, at times, difficult to establish who was speaking. There were page sizing issues that revealed themselves when some of the text was cut off at the bottom or sides. I still enjoyed the story; however, the lack of variations in fonts, font sizes, and font colors that most other comics use to show emotion, yelling/whispering, sound effects, and/or which character is speaking really detracted my attention. My last gripe was how similar three of the male characters were to each other, with their shaven heads and white skin (one had a facial scar at least).
Liberation, written by Ian Edginton, art again by Christopher Shy, tells us the story of when Carver (Dead Space 3) teams up with Ellie Langford (Dead Space 2) to find and destroy the source of the necromorphs, the original marker. The art is still great. Dialogue seemed to improve but it still lacked sound effects and did not have nearly enough font changes (I particularly enjoyed the radio communication font though). It was definitely a bit more action driven and flowed well from panel to panel, and leads nicely into Dead Space 3.
All in all, great art and a nice addition to any Dead Space collection.