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John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: Vortex #1 (Review)

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Story by John Carpenter and Sandy King

Written by Mike Sizemore

Art by David Kennedy

Cover by Tim Bradstreet


John Carpenter is back with a new installment for his Tales of Science Fiction series with Vortex, written by indie comics writer Mike Sizemore. While the first story in this anthology series was a quick three issues, Carpenter has ramped it up for an eight-issue story arc with this bad boy. This story created by Carpenter and his wife, Sandy King, definitely feels more like Carpenter characters thrown into an outer space environment and it’s a cool build-up and start with a very motley crew of characters.

In this universe space travel has become instantaneous thanks to Rift Technology, which is a gate in space that can fling ships into other galaxies. In the Veil Nebula there is Benson Station that monitors mining operations on asteroids, and they have lost contact with their crew on asteroid Garm. Senior Chief Dixon and his crew of Bear, a burly bald strong man, and Sinclair, the wide-eyed young recruit, arrive at Benson Station and are immediately put to the task of uncovering what happened on the asteroid.

These characters are straight-up flung into the situation most likely due to the fact that the head of Benson Station hates Dixon with a passion. The pilot the crew gets paired with, Cheron, feels like Napoleon Wilson from Assault on Precinct 13 as she comes out in prison fatigues to greet the crew. She was grounded before this mission and we don’t know what her story is yet. Bear is just a big burly rocker built like a brick shithouse, and Sinclair comes off like Wynona Ryder from Alien Resurrection, all doe-eyed and scared. It’s a pretty interesting combo of characters set up here with some dark pasts that are going to be interesting to see fleshed out.

David Kennedy has an amazing color palette in the book. He really goes ethereal on the space scenes and blasts you with light on the Rift gate. It’s a good mood setter as he has all the comfortable scenes brightly lit and colorful such as the break room where the crew hangs out that juxtaposes the rest of the space station itself. It sets a mood mirroring the head of Benson Station’s disdain for everyone and everything. His mood-setting colors are going to help elevate the book going forward.

There’s not much action in the first issue, with a jump scare by the end of it, but there is a Prince of Darkness mixed with The Thing kind of vibe set up here. This is a great start to a dark and expansive universe.

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User Rating 3.27 (15 votes)

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