John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: Vortex #3
Written by Mike Sizemore
Pencils and Inks by Dave Kennedy
Colors by Pete Kennedy
Lettering by Janice Chiang
Edited by Sandy King
Cover Art by Tim Bradstreet
Storm King Comics
Release date: January 3, 2018
Vortex is the second story from Storm King Comics’ new monthly anthology series, John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction, developed by the Horror Master himself with his wife and collaborator Sandy King Carpenter. Vortex is an 8-issue story harkening back to genre classics like Aliens, dealing with a mining station in space in which the crew disappears forcing Captain Jake Dixon and crew to lead the rescue mission. As is the tradition now, writer Mike Sizemore gives our introduction highlighted by a classical poet, this time William Blake: “In the universe there are things that are known and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.”
We follow Dixon, mission leader Taylor, sexy kick ass pilot Anna Cheron, and survivor Anderson back to the mining colony searching for a way back in. At the same time, back on the space station Benson, a crew member is suffering from chaotic visions and headaches. Her eyes though are fine… except she’s been wearing glasses literally her whole life. And she was spending time with Anderson who is definitely hiding something…
This series relishes in drawing out the suspense. Last issue gave a phenomenal tease on its last page and rather than jump right in Sizemore and company milk it. The characters are given time to develop and interact. What I really enjoyed in this issue was the small influx of humor. There’s a great panel where the crew marches along through a tunnel when a cave-in sends Cheron falling to her likely demise… only for her to appear unscathed after a short fall onto an abandoned digger. In another cute little nod, Taylor advises characters to stick together since this isn’t a “cheap horror movie.”
The story continues to pay homage to Aliens, but the tunnel scenes reminded me Total Recall as well. I’m invested in these characters now, and openly rooting for Jake and particularly Anna Cheron to survive the ordeal. It feels like the setup is almost over and the time to reveal some truly outer-worldly baddies is at hand. I eagerly await issue 4 of Vortex.
John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: Vortex #3 is available in stores now. The next issue arrives January 24, 2018.