Story: Ryan K. Lindsay
Art: Owen Gieni
What They Say:
Our hero is plunged into a terrifying conflict between an emotion-harvesting corporation and the resistance cult that attempts to defy them. But as the mysteries surrounding this secret war darken and deepen, he discovers a new power within himself that could shift the balance in dramatic and unpredictable ways!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of Negative Space won me over big time and got me wholly invested in the book. But it’s an investment that you have to be careful with as there’s a real gap between installments, as it’s about ten weeks between the first and second issues and the third issue comes out at the end of January. That means it’s difficult to really keep the flow of it going when you get down to it and, as a miniseries, is something that’s going to work best when read in full. For those that must have more, especially after that first installment, this issue pays off in spades and ups the ante in a great way. As difficult as Guy’s life was, what with having writer’s block in writing his suicide note, he’s now been opened up to a whole other world of weird.
With his having stepped into this bigger world thanks to Woody, we get a pretty decent if brief history lesson. It’s a surreal kind of viral/alien experience in a sense that really is neat as we learn about the underwater species known as the Evorah that discovered that sadness and tragedy that comes from mankind is like a most delicious sustenance to them. They built a whole culture around tragedy that sank to the depths of the oceans before they could figure out a way to get greater access by working with the worst humans in the world with a place created called Kindred Corp. It’s here that the sadness is supplied directly to the Evorah and their museum down below that gives them so much. It’s a parasitic/symbiotic relationship that works but it exacts a toll that we’ve seen on the world. And with Guy in particular, who is like an ultimate treat with his mixture of sadness and tragedy.
Not surprisingly, there are those that discovered all of this ages ago and the resistance of sorts built up, something that Woody is a part of, but also one of the Evorah that’s known only as Beta. Beta’s amusing in that it doesn’t care for sadness but instead prefers happiness, making it a real outsider among its people. Even worse in a sense is that it loves a wide range of movies and has plenty of little referential moments while the action and mission take shape here. Discovering that this group is intending to drop a Happiness Bomb on the museum and need Guy in order to do it just sends Guy into even more confusion, but it’s his ambling ways that keep nudging him further and further along. He’s going with the flow, grappling with all of this, and mostly just kind of letting it all wash over him without truly accepting it.
The result is that he’s like a leaf in the wind and even more so when it becomes a mismatched buddy road trip with him and Beta. The book does a good job of really expanding on what’s going on here from the first installment and it has a great kind of surreal aspect that’s reminiscent of They Live and other subversive works. There’s an interesting scale to what the Evorah do and it’s obvious there are people that would work with them for their own benefit. Granted, it’s a way of shuffling responsibility for things off on other events and people, but the idea that there’s something greater causing misery for all of us is a familiar story idea. Lindsay and Gieni bring it about beautifully here with some really haunting sequences with the Evorah but also through some really haunting moments just watching Guy’s face as he struggles with all of this and seems to waffle between further depression and the potential for being active in all of this instead of just a pawn.
The second installment of Negative Space gives us a lot of material to digest that Lindsay and Gieni have presented and there’s all sorts of interpretations you can bring out to your particular politics and social engineering to use in your favor. I like the idea of the Evorah and how they’re brought about which is made all the more haunting by the way Gieni portrays them. Like a lot of books of this nature it makes for some quick leaps and forward movements but it has a great kind of kinetic energy to sustain it while being tied to the almost lethargic element with Guy. We do get the subplot with Rick here in his hunt for Guy and what he sees happening with Beta and the others from this resistance, but it’s hard to tell exactly where he lands on it all as it’s more of a devil may care kind of attitude as long as he gets to do the things he wants. Overall, Negative Space has a strong second issue and it has me cringing at the long wait for the third installment. So worth it though.
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: September 23rd, 2015