Image Comics | Top Cow
(W) Ryan Cady (A) Andrea Mutti (C) K. Michael Russell
With the title Infinite Dark, it’s no surprise that “darkness” is a prevailing theme from the first page to the final cliffhanger. Much like they did in Port of Earth, the art team of Andrea Mutti and K. Michael Russell do a masterful job in making a fantastic, science-fiction world feel very real, while the script from writer Ryan Cady gets readers to buy into the story. Efficient in its execution, Infinite Dark has the makings of a truly great mystery.
Darkness permeates throughout this first issue. It takes place within the vacuum of space, referred to as “the cold black.” Most of humanity has been wiped out. The name of the space station the characters live on is Orpheus, which means “the darkness of night.” The setting of the issue’s finale is called “The Dark Sector.” While it does seem as though Cady’s script is beating us over the head, it is important in establishing not just the tone of the story, but also the characters’ state of mind. These are figures that have been cut off from any sense of normalcy and are trusted with the task of ensuring the survival of the species. Because of their role, they must constantly be aware of the bleakest scenarios possible in order to fulfill their roles.
Cady makes haste in introducing readers to the series’ protagonist, Deva Harrell, during a mandatory therapy session with the Orpheus’ AI program, Sm1th. From this introduction, readers are given a glimpse into the backstory of this world, but more importantly the internal struggle that Deva faces in each waking moment. She is insecure in her role as a member of the Orpheus’ governing council. She is conflicted with regard to the notion of faith. While her subordinates respect her, her peers seemingly do not. But despite these insecurities and flaws, she fights for what she believes is right, such as preventing the Orpheus to operate under a police state. These multiple elements combine to create a character that is as fascinating as she is relatable.
The look of Infinite Dark is certainly reflective of the story. Andrea Mutti ensures that readers rarely get a clear look at anything thanks to heavy shading and use of shadow. This acts as a visual representation of the darkness present within everything. It works especially well when contrasted with the vibrant splashes of color that K. Michael Russell brings to the table. The varying color templates is a welcome visual cue that the setting has changed – a stark contrast from prevalent muted grays found in Port of Earth.
Top Cow has carved out a nice place in the comics landscape for hard-hitting science fiction, and Infinite Dark is welcome addition to their portfolio. Though the issue does rush in the final pages to hit the cliffhanger, the journey leading up to that point is captivating. Though the title itself may be dark, it’s potential is bright.