An Alarming Menace Looms In Delta 13 #3

by Brendan M. Allen

Who knows what mysteries lie deep in the asteroid belt? When a mysterious, huge, and previously undiscovered asteroid looms over their ship, a small crew of blue-collar workers discovers a terrifying threat unlike anything they’ve ever seen. Now, the crew must escape the asteroid, but even if they do, will they be able to escape each other and anything they bring back with them?

The crew of Tetra47B is on a reconnaissance mission in deep space, dropping “crawlers” on asteroids, activating the drones, then moving on to the next rock. Everything’s business as usual until they come across a huge, uncharted asteroid that swallows the ship. The crew does that thing they do and turns loose one of their insanely expensive drones. When the crawler disappears without a trace, they don’t think twice about sending a team out to find it. They find the drone busted up beyond repair and a naked woman plugged into a bunch of tubes. Leave the crawler. Take the creepy lady on the boat. This will all be fine.

Some of this sounds awfully familiar, but there really isn’t much way around it. Some of the tropes associated with space and horror are in place because there are only so many ways you can get Earth humans into space and introduce them to scary space stuff. You would think by this point in future human development, we might have learned a thing or two about trusting naked unconscious space strangers, but we need a story, so…

Steve Niles nails the crew dynamics. Dialogue is tense. These folks are forced to spend way too much time in close proximity and it doesn’t take much to make them turn on each other. In this case, the naked hitchhiker provides ample catalyst. It still feels like we’re working with a very small slice of a much bigger picture, but with only the one chapter remaining, the blowoff is right around the corner.

Nat Jones finally gets turned loose with the gore in chapter three. Jones employs a very simple, clean style on both art and color duties. The minimalist style is effective, drawing the reader right to the important bits, straight past insignificant minutiae. There’s a lot more red in this chapter. (Red is bad.)

This has been a slow, methodical burn, and that doesn’t necessarily play into my preference for this type of story, but this is also a very short run. This is the second to last issue. The payoff is guaranteed in next month’s book.

Delta 13 #3, published by IDW Publishing, released 04 July 2018. Written by Steve Niles, art by Nat Jones, letters by Shawn Lee.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.