Zenescope's latest anthology series Conspiracy follows a formula somewhat similar to their Grimm Tales of Terror series. In this sci-fi thriller, though, instead of using urban legends as a basis for a horror comic, this series tackles a different conspiracy theory in every issue. In this one, Conspiracy: Black Knight Satellite, writers Hans Rodionoff and Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg tell a gory tale about an unidentified object located by the military, who heads toward this mystery craft in order to find out what it could be.
Zenescope stories are written in a way unique to the company within the comics industry, but one with which TV writer Adam F. Goldberg is likely comfortable. Writer and VP of Film and Television Ralph Tedesco, President Joe Brusha, and editor Dave Franchini break the stories together in a writers' room in their Pennsylvania office and then assign the stories out. Some writers put their own twist and style on these stories as well, which seems to be the case with Goldberg and Rodionoff. Conspiracy delivers a different style of story every time, with the last issue starring a group of kids in the woods for a classic horror feel, while Conspiracy: Black Knight Satellite focusing on a realistic military operation that goes horribly wrong. The series has been a thrill ride and is a perfect example of what kind of stories Zenescope produces for their growing fanbase: thrilling horror that delivers something different than expected, and different from what the larger comics industry is offering.
It's been interesting watching artist Allan Otero grow, from his days on Zenescope's Satan's Hollow, which was good but featured an over-use of shadows and odd facial expressions, to his work on Conspiracy: Black Knight Satellite, which shows immense improvement. Otero's visceral sci-fi horror is elevated by Leonardo Paciarotti's bright colors, which seem to glow on the page. There's also some particularly inspired lettering by Carlos M. Mangual, where a green sound effect connects seamlessly to a spiral of energy in the artwork.
Conspiracy: Black Knight Satellite is a great read for any sci-fi and horror fans, but strap in… this one gets pretty rough for the squeamish.