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Outer Darkness 8 Main

"Outer Darkness #8" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics / Skybound Entertainment


Written by John Layman
Illustrated by Afu Chan
Lettered by Pat Brosseau
2019, 32 pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 10th, 2019


The crew of the Charon has been through some pretty insane adventures in its relatively short time as a unit. More than a few of them have been horrifically murdered. There's a mutiny in the works. They just picked up a nun who was trapped in a haunted house flying through space. With all this, the attention turns to Ensign Hydzek, who has recently returned to the land of the living. That's the least of her problems aboard this ship.

In case you couldn't tell, Outer Darkness is kind of weird. It mashes up horror and sci-fi into this quirky conundrum that is always entertaining. This issue focuses primarily on Hydzek, a supporting character up until this point. With how this chapter plays out, I see her moving up the ranks one way or another.

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Writer John Layman manages to pull the attention away from an already entertaining and compelling cast to add to it with additional layers. I'm now just as invested in Hydzek's life as any other character. By filling in her past, it reframes her actions in the series to date.

More importantly, Hydzek gives us a unique perspective on the resurrected. She was dead. Her soul left her body. Now she's back among the living, but she's not all there. Hydzek is plagued by horrifying nightmares. It's like something followed her back from the other side and it's not done with her yet.

Artist Afu Chan has a style that fits the tone of Outer Darkness perfectly. It blends the alien and sci-fi elements with a bit of humor and a big helping of horror. For example, some of Hydzek's nightmares include ghost Nazis. They appear out of nowhere and perform these incredibly violent acts on anyone they encounter, to the point where the blood and gore is almost ridiculous. While you might smirk at this, you understand the trauma Hydzek is going through when she wakes up in a cold sweat with abject fear in her eyes.

Click images to enlarge

Hydzek has to help the nun, Sister Magdalena Antona, get acclimated aboard the Charon. This provides us with a new tour of the ship and re-introduction to the surroundings. Magdalena is from our time, so she's in complete and total shock by everything she's witnessing. This really drives home just how crazy this story is.

Hydzeks' internal narration, shown in green caption boxes from letterer Pat Brosseau, puts some of her actions and dialogue into further context. It shows the pain she's going through, yet not showing to her shipmates.

Outer Darkness is the quirky, terrifying sci-fi comic I didn't know I needed. It's like Firefly crossed with Aliens. This book is insane and I love everything about it.


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Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
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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