Review: Sci-Fi/Horror Outer Darkness #12 Sets Up The Promise Of A Bloody, Revengeful Second Season

by Oliver MacNamee

Outer Darkness #12 by John Layman and Afu Chan marks the closer to the first season in this riveting, genre-bending sci-fi/horror and, as a good season closer should do, goes out on a high, while setting up situations that guarantee an explosive second series.

With Captain Rigg on the run, and with an all-new crew of interesting characters he interviewed last issue, he’s certainly left a mess behind for his superiors to sort out. One of those being Admiral Prakash, who thought Rigg’s predictability would be his undoing. But then, Prakash didn’t anticipate a spanner in the works that throws his whole plans off.

What Rigg’s is up to isn’t as nefarious as you would think, and while he is clearly someone we are encouraged not to be wholly trusted, it would seem his plan of action is a rather honourable one. And, while it seems as though Rigg’s and his new crew have cut through innocents’ like a hot knife through butter, not all is as it would seem. Rigg clearly is not the rough, roguish diamond he pretends to be.

Although, he has built up a rather impressive array of people who have come to dislike him, and in one case at least, downright hate him and nothing less that killing him will do. He may think he’s free as a bird, but he’s got a lot of heat on his tail. As I’m sure he’ll find out next season.

All-in-all it’s a dynamic and dramatic end to one of the more fascinating series of the past year, or so. Starting off as a homage to space faring shows such as Star Trek, it quickly set out its horror credentials in early issues too. The reveal that the ship was run off of a captured god certainly set the tone, as did the amazing, streamlined but startling artwork and color work of Afu Chan who’s fusion of Manga style art and more Western influences has created a great look for this book, with a slight hint of the nostalgic to it too, thanks to some slick retro-design work that evokes the classic sci-fi designs of yesteryear. The inclusion of supernatural elements and the trappings of classic horror tropes – including Sister Magdalena, a 20th century Catholic nun – helps create a unique universe in which both aliens and alchemists have their place.

The predominant use of widescreen panels and speed lines also ramps up the tension and drama across the issue ahead of the inevitable cliffhanger that sets up the promise of a bloody showdown in the second series. And, I can’t wait. I jus hope it’s not too long, given Layman’s plans at Aftershock. Oh, and there’s always Leviathan to complete too, right John?

Outer Darkness #12 is out now from Image/Skybound

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