Delta 13 #1

Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Nat Jones
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Publisher: IDW

Review by Michael Farris, Jr.

In Delta 13 #1 a small space crew is conducting routine scans of an asteroid belt in deep space. Suddenly, a previously undiscovered asteroid appears and forces the crew to fly inside to avoid an accident. As unsettling as it was to encounter this surprise, the crew is morbidly curious about the secrets that lie deep within this asteroid.

This comic comes to us from Steve Niles of 30 Days of Night fame. Knowing there were horror roots, and then seeing the haunting cover of this book had me excited to give it a try. When done well, sci-fi horror is probably my favorite genre in books, movies, video games…anything. However, the unfortunate reality is that a lot of it is done poorly (horror in general, if we’re being honest).

Delta 13 #1 is certainly not a failure, but I didn’t get quite enough out of this first issue to really make out if this is going to be a success. If this were a movie, this would be the first five or so minutes. We get the typical blue-collar-crew-that’s-been-together-for-a-while banter and the calls back to home to establish familial empathy with one of the main characters, but then when the asteroid shows up, it’s almost as if it ends too soon. An extra page or two to really show the bad situation the crew is in would have sealed the deal for me, but we’re just left with a high-techy wall that shouldn’t be there.

The artwork is one of the stronger aspects of this series to me. Usually when you pick up a sci-fi comic book, you expect glossy and high-techy looking pages. In this one, though, the artwork is darn-near impressionistic, which makes a lot of sense for a story set in space–given the amount of space stories we get that play with the idea of relativity. The colors are mostly a dull bluish-green that feel like a TV that’s been left on all night, and that gives it a kind of cold, lonely feel that you’d expect from being in space. We get a stark contrast with the color tone of the alarms that sound at the approaching asteroid: the scene is painted an urgent shade of red.

Verdict: Wait and see.

I want to recommend Delta 13 #1 based on the creative team and the fantastic artwork, but this first issue didn’t quite give me enough to justify going out and picking this up. The second issue will be make-or-break to me, meaning I hope I get more space horror than just an asteroid that appears out of nowhere.

Michael Farris Jr.
Michael is a Virginia-born Idaho convert (stuck in Georgia) and a huge fan of sci-fi. He took time off from comics and sci-fi during the dark years of being a teenager and trying to impress girls, but has since married an amazing woman with whom he regularly can geek out and be himself. He's also a drummer, loves metal music, and can always be found in a melancholy state while watching all things DC sports.

2 thoughts on “Delta 13 #1 Review

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