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Sci-fi thriller comic ‘Infinite Dark’ confronts the final years of humankind
With hints of ‘Alien’ and ‘The Thing,’ we recommend this creepy new comic about the heat death of the universe.
Infinite Dark is about as post-apocalyptic as it gets. Set after the heat death of the universe, it takes place on a space station in the last remnants of space. The inhabitants are humanity’s last survivors—the people who built the station as a kind of Noah’s Arc but had to watch as the rest of humankind failed to make it in time, ships burning on their journey to the edge of the universe.
We don’t usually recommend comics based on a single issue, but Infinite Dark is worth picking up from the start. Written by Ryan Cady and illustrated by line artist Andrea Mutti and colorist K. Michael Russell, it’s gripping sci-fi/horror with the same ominous, isolated tone as Alien or The Thing. Opening with a therapy session between a security officer and the station’s artificial intelligence, it has a very distinctive voice: cynical but still soldiering on, with a cast of characters plagued by survivor’s guilt.
Like the recent Dark Horse Comics miniseries The Seeds, Infinite Dark hints at a tonal shift in new post-apocalyptic fiction. The genre has been around for ages (arguably, Mary Shelley was writing it in the 1820s, although the end of the world is really a universal concept), but the last few decades of post-apocalyptic media often had a fantastical edge. Zombies are a perennial favorite, with The Walking Dead exemplifying a kind of survivalist fantasy for doomsday preppers.
Only in the last few years have we seen mainstream media that reckons with climate change in a meaningful way, like Mad Max Fury Road. In that sense, neither The Seeds nor Infinite Dark are about heroic survival, but rather about confronting the void. In Infinite Dark’s case, literally. Like so many sci-fi thrillers before, its sterile spaceship setting gives way to the looming terror of emptiness outside. Is there anything out there, or is the true horror being trapped alone with humanity’s dwindling population? That’s not exactly a new idea, but it’s executed well here, coupled with another classic of the genre: Someone on the station is behaving erratically, and our hero Deva Karrel must find out why before it’s too late.
Infinite Dark is published monthly, with issue #2 out on Nov. 14.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested.