Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mystery in Space #1

Written by Duane Swierczynski, Andy Diggle, Ming Doyle, Ann Nocenti, Nnedi Okorafor, Steve Orlando, Robert Rodi, Kevin McCarthy, and Michael Allred
Art by Ramon Bachs, Davide Gianfelice, Ming Doyle, Fred Harper, Michael Wm. Kaluta, Francesco Trifogli, Sebastian Fiumara, Kyle Baker, and Michael Allred

There's nothing quite like a good anthology book, as I attest with each new issue of Dark Horse Presents.  Lately, Vertigo has also entered the anthology business, putting out a one-shot every quarter or so.  This one uses a space and science fiction theme, and it contains some very good stories, and some I could have done without.

What first struck me about this book is that it is largely made by people who I either don't associate with Veritgo comics (Duane Swierczynski, Ramon Bachs, and Kyle Baker), or by people that I am completely unfamiliar with (Nnedi Okorafor, Steve Orlando, Kevin McCarthy, Fred Harper, and Francesco Trifogli).

There are a couple of themes that keep being revisited in this book, such as a future where people lack control over their lives and actions, and stories that involve people not perceiving things properly.  These are good stories, and they are all told quickly.

I did have trouble getting through Okorafor and Kaluta's story about a carnivorous jungle (although it was lovely), and McCarthy and Baker's story of two cultures discovering a powerful new substance.  It was kind of tedious, and Baker drew it in the cartoon style of his that I don't actually enjoy.

I found that I most enjoyed Diggle and Gianfelice's story about revolution, Doyle's tale of love and
suspended animation, and Rodi and Fiumara's tale of love in a space junkyard.

Orlando and Trifogli's story about centaurs and self-determination was one of the most interesting, but also a little hard to follow.  I would like to see more of Trifogli's art.  I look forward to Vertigo doing another book like this soon, but would like to see a little more variety in terms of themes.

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