'John Carpenter's Tales Of Science Fiction: Vortex #2' Review: A Tantalizingly Slow Boil

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Dixon and the Doctor have found a survivor whom Dixon knows. The man, named Anderson, wakes up in a panic and detonates some large explosives, breaching the mining facility. Cheron goes to them for an emergency evacuation.

Back on the colony station, Dixon and Cheron meet up with an investigator, who is skeptical yet open to Dixon's claims about what he saw aboard the mining facility.

John Carpenter's Tales of Science Fiction: Vortex #2 cover by Tim Bradstreet
John Carpenter's Tales of Science Fiction: Vortex #2 cover by Tim Bradstreet

With its second issue, Vortex tantalizes us with its horror then pulls back to allow its implications to boil. This is a maneuver often used by particularly sci-fi horror films and video games. It is a good move, and it allows the audience to be tantalized by whatever is happening in the story. It does get a little too slow at times, but it manages to stay largely engaging regardless.

It is disappointing to see that Vortex may be jettisoning Bear and Sinclair this early in the story, as they both were likable characters. I would like to have seen them explored more, but it wouldn't be compelling sci-fi horror without stakes and losses.

Dixon shows himself a spirited and defiant leader in this issue, fighting tooth and nail with the aforementioned investigator, who proves to be a likable character in his own right.

The ending leaves the comic on an appropriately ominous yet enticing note, making me eager for the next issue to be released. In other words, the ending does what it's supposed to do.

Dave Kennedy's artwork continues to be atmospheric and darkly gorgeous. His characters show a lot in body language and expression, and the environment is cold and foreboding. Pete Kennedy keeps things dark and cold with the color work, and the two give us a visually appealing experience.

John Carpenter's Tales of Science Fiction: Vortex #2 continues with its Alien/Dead Space tale with an issue that shows the slow boil to come. Mike Sizemore shows knowledge of how to create suspense, and Dave and Pete Kennedy give us a great-looking book. This one is recommended, too; give it a read.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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