Paperback | Kindle
Story by Mike Richardson
Script by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko
Art by Fernando Baldo
Colors by Nick Filardi
Letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover and Chapter Break Art by Gabriel Hardman and Matthew Wilson
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 24, 2015
How exciting would it be to travel to another planet that holds remarkable similarities to our own? But what if you had to take a three-year trip just to get there? Of course, you are in a suspended animation during the journey but still…three years? That gives even the most curious folk pause. Especially when you consider the fact that staying on this new world for too long is deadly. But corporate greed makes the world(s) go ’round, so people still find themselves motivated to go. But for some people it’s not about the money. Deep Gravity gives us a bit of it all in the telling of this tale.
Our story begins in space around the planet known as Poseidon, aptly named since it is primarily covered with water. Narrowing in on Paxon, an engineer who is new to this foreign world, we see how distracted and disoriented he is after the trip. Becoming acclimated to the terrain, the new group experiences some of the more deadly denizens. One poor man, Greg, is an unfortunate recipient of a cloakworm attack.
But the real plot seems to revolve around Paxon and his ex-girlfriend Michelle. It seems one of his objectives in going offworld was to reconcile with her after she abruptly left to work on Poseidon, three years prior. True to form, she is angry that he would travel so far to find closure on an event that she obviously considered complete. This is an issue that permeates the comic, causing tension between the two repeatedly.
Part of the duties of the workers include capturing the creatures that reside there. Odd, plant-animal combinations abound, making the job that much harder. During routine work, however, an explosion occurs aboard the freighter. Air locks are breached and the ship is quite literally damaged beyond repair, sending many of the crew to their deaths. The survivors band together and attempt to save themselves from an eventual death but obstacles present themselves at every turn.
It is during this traumatic experience that our plot lines converge and we see excellent examples of the human spirit. And while there are some severe gaps in parts of the story, I was excited to see that the true climax of the tale was explored in depth. Some classic cliches were in play but at the same time it created an excellent setting for the tale, both provided by Mike Richardson‘s writing. Additionally, artist Fernando Baldo brings some exciting actions scenes to life, his work being both detailed and focused.
Collecting all four issues of the Deep Gravity miniseries, this graphic novel is a science fiction adventure worthy of H.G. Wells. The idea that mankind could find, explore, and eventually attempt to settle another planet has been a long-standing idea for many authors over the decades. Concentrating on the emotional and physical dilemmas, rather than the actual discover and travel, enabled the comic to maintain a solid momentum throughout. I enjoyed the story with few exceptions, most of which were just sub-plots that were never wrapped up, so to speak. I’d definitely recommend this to my sci-fi friends though I doubt the superhero crowd will have much interest in it. It’s not a “touchy-feely” style comic, but it definitely spends some time on the emotional elements of isolation and danger. So there you have it, my ambiguous recommendation.