Comic Review: The Vessel Of Terror

The Vessel Of Terror
Written by Magnus Aspli
Art/Letters by Dave Acosta
Colorists: Pages 1 – 22 by Jeremy P. Roberts, Pages 23 – 110 by Goran Kostadinoski
Markosia Enterprises
Release Date: October 1, 2011
Cover Price: $17.99

For as many years as humans have been exploring Earth, there is still much of its cracks, caves, and crevices that we’ve yet to discover. Our oceans hold many mysteries we may not see solved in our lifetime. In Magnus Aspli‘s The Vessel Of Terror, our ignorance of the oceans’ depths proves very costly for the crew of the research vessel Alesia.

While out at sea to study sperm whales, the Alesia comes across a rare find. The crew reel in and capture a Magnapinna squid, the first to ever be caught by mankind. The ship then alters its course and heads for home early, to bring the Magnapinna in to study. On the way home, strange things start happening to the ship’s crew members. Something overtakes their minds and forces them to carry out horrifying acts, the consequences of which effect the entire crew.

Writer Magnus Aspli has a wonderful way with horror. Though terrible things occur in the story, Aspli does not rely solely on their frightening nature to thrill you. He builds tension panel to panel by providing the right amount of suspense and payoff, so the reader never gets comfortable in their journey with the characters. No one is safe, but nothing is predictable.

Along with colorists Jeremy P. Roberts and Goran Kostadinoski, artist/letterer Dave Acosta sets a scene like the best of production teams in horror films. The right amount of darkness in contrast to the bright colors gives the feeling that you are walking through the Alesia’s dimly lit corridors, or swimming in the depths of the ocean. Though the Magnapinna’s eyes are dark orbs, the team somehow manages to make its hollow stare terrifying. There is much behind those eyes, as we are told in flashback, and we never feel as though the creature is resting on its laurels. It can and will spring into action at any moment, and we’d be wise to remember it.

The Vessel Of Terror was a thrilling read, one that kept me turning pages as fast as I could. The history behind the Magnapinna is obviously a deep one, and I’d love to see more of its story told. Aspli and company have crafted an excellent piece for fans of creature-based horror, one that will keep you in suspense until the very end.

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