Dead Space: Salvage
by Antony Johnston
To tell you about this graphic novel, I must give a little background about the world of Dead Space. Dead Space takes place about 300-500 years in the future where the Earth is dying. Resources have become so limited that the people of Earth have started mining planets for resources, and have colonized several moons and planets. Even so, humanity is slowly heading towards extinction. Around 2308, a group of scientists find an object buried near the Yucatan Penisula. The object soon becomes known as the Marker, and is simultaneously worshipped (Unitoligists) and researched (EarthGov). The government hopes that with the Marker’s help humanity will be saved from extinction. Those who worship the artifact believe that the Marker will save humanity through a process called Convergence. The Marker has its own plans.
This graphic novel takes place right after the events of the main game, Dead Space. The Red Marker, a man-made version of the original artifact, has been put back on the planet Aegis VII. The USG Ishimura (the first game’s setting) is floating in space, and the Earth Government is looking for the ship. Unitologist leaders, unimpressed with EarthGov’s methods of discovery, decide to take control of the mission. Why does a religious group have this much overt power of the government, you ask? Suffice it to say that the Dead Space universe is really bad, even without the scary, stab-happy monsters.
In another part of the galaxy, a freelance salvage crew on a ship called the Black Beak spots the USG Ishimura.They decide to go on board and see what can scavenged and sold. If you are familiar with the Dead Space franchise, then you know that things turn bad very fast. When the crew of the Black Beak board the USG Ishimura all systems are down; the ship has gone completely dark! There is an organic sludge covering everything, and some red crystals sticking into the hull of the Ishimura, but not soul appears to be home. The salvage crew decides to bring the shards on board while looking for salvageable materials. The Black Beard crew starts screaming and disappearing, and monsters start to take their place.
Besides the writing, I really liked the artwork because it reminds of watercolor paintings. The panels are pretty dark with a lot of blues, blacks, and grays being used. If you’ve ever looked at the concept drawings,or alternative cover drawings, in the back of most comic books, then that’s what the actual panels look like. The darkness of the panels, to me, parallel the bleakness of the universe that Dead Space encompasses.