Is Dead Space A Survival Horror/Religious Thriller?

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I have a confession to make. Besides videogames, comic books are a huge vice of mine. Chalk it up to the thrills of suspending your imagination, or anti-heroes blowing-up a bunch of stuff up to preserve their views of balance, there’s just so many different themes that are touched on in the comic book world of make believe.

So today while making my weekly selections at the comic store, I came across part 1 in a 6-part mini series for Image Comics’ Dead Space. The book caught my eye for two reasons, one being that it’s a comic book explaining/setting the universe of a videogame I’m interested in, and next because Ed Templesmith, the artist behind the comic 30 Days Of Night (movie is good too by the way), was providing the illustration.

Not much is known about EA’s Dead Space game with the exception of a couple screen shots and the game being tagged as a “survival horror” space story. Well right from the get go the comic tries to clue you into what to expect from the game.

The initial book starts with a message being sent by a character named Neumann. He’s sending out a transmission asking for the planets surface to be nuked. Then the events jump a month backward to give some background on what led to the transmission.

It’s here that you explore the world that Dead Space is set in. Humans are manning a space colony, they’re terraforming a planet, which they have been at for some years, and a discovery of some sort of alien life form or technology has just been unveiled. Right after these events there’s a clear division among the colonists. Some are followers of a new-age religion called Unitology, founded by someone who discovered one of these alien artifacts a long time ago. Others believe the piece is what it appears to be alien technology with no implications of divinity attached to it.

The divisions lead to escalating confrontations and this is explored through various interactions with characters throughout the book, ending with a team of mercenaries sent to secure the artifact by their boss (a devout follower of Unitology), concluding with a freaky scene of one of the mercs and his long dead mother (whom none of the other mercenaries can see might I add).

The book actually wasn’t a bad read, this is coming from a self proclaimed comic book elitist. I planned on checking the game out when it dropped this Halloween anyway but the comic did help to pique my curiosity a bit more.

The story arc started a lot of questions that I’m guessing will answered throughout the 6 issue run, and while I’m hoping it doesn’t fall into a tired zombie cliché storyline, I’ll most definitely be picking up the next issue to see how it progresses.

[See also: Dead Space gallery]

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