Infinite Dark #4

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Against All Odds

Infinite Dark #4 caps off this arc of the story in a way that invites the readers back for me this April. The current mystery is resolved, but with enough dangling threads both inside and outside the station that there are sure to be more intriguing questions thrown up in issue #5. Cady’s heartfelt writing, informed by his own travails, added depth and resonance to a storyline that would otherwise feel a lot like movies like Event Horizon. In the darkness, there is a spark of light that not only his characters hold onto, but Cady should as well. Mutti’s art won’t be to everyone’s taste, as it lacks the precision and smoothness of some, but it perfectly suits the story Cady is telling and adds wonderfully to the atmosphere of doom and mounting dread. I await with some interest the return of this series later in 2019, and I think you should as well.

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The universe is dead and the last remnants of humanity huddle aboard the Orpheus.  Much like its namesake, what’s left of mankind undergo their own journey through the Underworld, as the flawed plans of certain individuals imperil the lives of all aboard.  And as if that wasn’t enough, a dark and hungry god awaits outside the Orpheus, ready to consume all who live within…does humanity survive?  Infinite Dark #4 reveals all!

Infinite Dark #4INFINITE DARK #4

Writers:  Ryan Cady
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Colorist: K. Michael Russell
Letters: Troy Peteri
Publisher: Top Cow Productions, Inc. & Image Comics, Inc.
Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 30th, 2019

Previously in Infinite Dark: Welcome to space station Orpheus, the only protection against the entropy that has overwhelmed the material universe.  Inside, those who made it huddle within the thin metal skin, separating them from extinction.  Understandably, not all is well, as some go mad; others hunker within their quarters, while others seek to protect mankind from the darkness within, and without.  Security Chief Deva Karrell has been hunting for the murderer of some of her colleagues, and has discovered that a cabal of scientists has imperiled the station by threatening the integrity of the Pseudoreality Field.  But something far darker awaits her, as we round out this part of the story arc in Infinite Dark #4.

DON’T LOOK BACK

Throughout the first three issues of Infinite Dark, writer Ryan Cady and artist Andrea Mutti have presented a dire picture of the survival of humanity.  With the unexpected heat death of the universe, only a tiny sliver of the teeming multitudes of humanity survived.  Beset by depression, those who did make it to the station face the bleakest of futures, one with no hope of anything other than a long slide into chaos and death.

But there are those aboard the Orpheus who cleave to the old truths about humanity – that the will to survive trumps all other considerations.  Security Chief Deva Karrell is one of those people, dedicated to safeguarding her people no matter what cost it may bring to her personally.  She has doggedly pursued the killer of one of her colleagues in Infinite Dark #1, taking the reader along on a journey of exploration of the Orpheus, particularly the forbidding uninhabited areas of the station that remain powered down and sinister.  What she finds, and the betrayal of those sworn to protect, threatens the continued existence of humanity.

If you’re looking for a light, frothy romp through a delightful adventure, where everyone gets to sit down at the end and swap tales of derring-do over a sumptuous feast, might I direct you to My Little Pony?  As for the rest of us, Infinite Dark is a bleak examination of the length’s people will go to survive.  Even issue #4, which has a slightly hopeful ending, wraps that conclusion in black paper with an even black ribbon around it.  Even reading Ryan Cady’s thoughts at the end are enough to send you into the fetal position, as he discusses the bleakness of the year he has just had, and how it informed some of the first four issues.

LIGHT AGAINST THE DARK

I’m fine with that kind of storytelling.  Amid the seeming imminence of the end of humanity, Cady does give Karrell a sermon testifying to the indomitable will of humanity to go on, to find another way, to go on despite the odds.  In its own way, despite the horror she is facing, it is a brave speech to give, one that enables Karrell to find a way to survive.

Andrea Mutti’s art expressed for me the tenuous nature of humanity in its last refuge.  The sketchiness of it demonstrated that everyone was just hanging onto existence.  That being the last speck of matter in an absent universe almost made its inhabitants something of an afterthought.  Plus, the lack of definition definitely amped up the creep factor, as shadows seemed to swarm and the creature Karrell faces during Infinite Dark #4 is all the better for not being defined.

BOTTOM LINE:  AGAINST ALL ODDS

Infinite Dark #4 caps off this arc of the story in a way that invites the readers back for me this April.  The current mystery is resolved, but with enough dangling threads both inside and outside the station that there are sure to be more intriguing questions thrown up in issue #5.  Cady’s heartfelt writing, informed by his own travails, added depth and resonance to a storyline that would otherwise feel a lot like movies like Event Horizon.  In the darkness, there is a spark of light that not only his characters hold onto, but Cady should as well.  Mutti’s art won’t be to everyone’s taste, as it lacks the precision and smoothness of some, but it perfectly suits the story Cady is telling and adds wonderfully to the atmosphere of doom and mounting dread.  I await with some interest the return of this series later in 2019, and I think you should as well.


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About Author

Romantic. Raconteur. Kangaroo rustler. Sadly, Rob is none of these. Rob has been a follower of genre since at least the mid-1970s. Book collector, Doctor Who fan, semi-retired podcaster, comic book shop counter jockey, writer (once!) in Doctor Who Magazine and with pretensions to writing fantasy and horror, Rob is the sort of fellow you can happily embrace while wondering why you're doing it. More of his maudlin thoughts can be found at his ill-tended blog https://robertmammone.wordpress.com/

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