Stop me if you’ve heard this one – it’s the end of everything, and a beleaguered few strive to survive. It’s the starting point for a lot of an entire genre of horror isn’t it? Well, Infinite Dark #1 sees that, and swerves in an unexpected, horrifying, and immensely satisfying direction.
This creative team – Ryan Cady, Andrea Mutti, K Michael Russell and Troy Peteri – hasn’t been shy about this series. It’s a murder mystery at the end of the universe, but it’s also a horror story. That makes it one of the most unique horror stories this year.
The story opens with Security Director Deva Karrell being summoned by her superiors. Deva has held her position on the Orpheus for two years- two years in which the universe ended, leaving the station the last place in existence. For the first time, she has to deal with a murder, a case that leads her to a horrifying discovery – the Orpheus may NOT be the last thing left alive.
Cady’s script is sharp and scary. He’s able to give us a great tool for exposition in the first few pages (Deva going through VR therapy), that doesn’t feel overly exposition-y. The murder mystery is resolved very quickly, but that doesn’t feel like a cheat. Instead it’s clear that it’s a tool to lead Deva, and the readers, to a horrifying truth.
Best of all, this is genuinely scary. Everything, from the heat death of the universe, to the grisly crime builds up the tension and horror. Then Ryan hits us with the last page reveal, which genuinely left my jaw hanging open.
Mutti has his work cut out for him here. He has to depict a realistic sci-fi world, while also making us care about the characters. Without his work, the horror wouldn’t land- whether it’s humanity’s ships exploding or that shock last page. He also depicts a cast that is world-weary and struggling with hopelessness, and it really drew me in.
Russell’s color work is a great part of the team. He is able to set the mood so well in the first few pages with Mutti’s, casting the death of humanity in reds and yellows, then shifting to a more mellow palate in the station itself.
Peteri’s work is also a big part of setting the mood. He’s able to convey the mood of the bleak events leading up to the story with simple bubbles and captions. He’s also able to turn a disembodied AI into an actual character, just through his caption work.
This is a great horror story, and should be an instant add for any horror fan’s pull list.
Infinite Dark #1 is available now from Top Cow Productions/Image.