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Journey Into Unknown Worlds 1 Main

"Journey Into Unknown Worlds #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

Journey Into Unknown Worlds 1 Large

Written by Cullen Bunn and Clay McLeod Chapman
Illustrated by Guillermo Sanna and Francesco Manna
Colored by Lee Loughridge
Lettered by Travis Lanham
2019, 32 Pages
Comic released on January 30th, 2019

Review:

Marvel Comics continues its 80th anniversary celebration with a look back at some of its early titles. In this case, we've got a pair of stories under the sci-fi / horror banner of Journey Into Unknown Worlds. We explore the strange possibilities that space allows and the mind-shattering experiences that follow.

You could not have asked for better writers to dig into this brand. Cullen Bunn and Clay McLeod Chapman have some definite horror cred and they deliver the goods in this one-shot. Bunn is first up with “Bones of the Earth,” illustrated by Guillermo Sanna. This shows a frightening look into the future after a disease has ravaged the planet. A group of scientists, outfitted in spacesuits, traverses the land looking for answers, but they're not ready for what they find.

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Where this story really excels is in body horror. The effects of this disease are blood-curdling; the body basically rebels against itself. The rib cage opens up, creating spikes of sorts on the chest. It looks a little like the back of a stegosaurus. Meanwhile, the arms and legs twist in these unnatural ways that are tough to look at. Sanna does some brilliant work here.

Colorist Lee Loughridge hits the right mix of sci-fi and horror in the tone of this tale. There's the clean, sterile look of a spaceship matched with the desolate environment of a dystopian world. When the transformations start happening, it's like Hell itself has come up to play with these monstrosities lit by the orange glow of the setting sun.

The other story, “Chrysalis” takes a more traditional approach, following a group of scouts on a camping trip. A nerdy kid gets picked on by his friends and finds the means to get even in a strange meteorite that lands nearby. You have an idea of where this is going, but that doesn't lessen the journey.

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Artist Francesco Manna makes these kids look so very normal in his style. That makes what happens to them all the more terrifying since it looks so unlike anything else in this short. This is something that if you were to see it in real life, it would turn your brain to mush. It's exactly what H.P. Lovecraft talked about in his stories.

Letterer Travis Lanham uses some great alien fonts for some of the more sci-fi elements of Journey Into Unknown Worlds. This helps set the book apart and add to the mysterious nature of the events in each story. As much as I like those, the sound effects are the real stand out. There's something so unsettling about a loud scratching sound coming from an alien creature.

Journey Into Unknown Worlds is a great throwback to the kinds of scary stories that Marvel did back in the day. It shows that the publisher still has some horror chops. I'd love to see this become a more regular tradition, even if it was just a yearly anthology.

Grades:

Story: Fourstars Journey Into Unknown Worlds 1 Small
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Art: Fourstars
Overall: Fourstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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