John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction Vortex #5 Review: Tense, Pulse-Pounding Action Horror

John Carpenter's Tales of Science Fiction: Vortex #5
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Summary
Writer: Mike Sizemore, Artist: Dave Kennedy, Color Artist: Pete Kennedy, Letters: Janice Chiang, Cover by: Tim Bradstreet, Based on a story by John Carpenter and Sandy King, Editor: Sandy King, Book Design: Shannon Forrey, Title Treatment: John Galati, Publisher: Storm King Productions, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99

The crew aboard the mining station find themselves assailed by inky monsters in mining suits. They’ve already killed one of Taylor’s soldiers, and Dixon, Taylor, and the rest are running for the ship.

Back on the space station, Dr. Grigory is sent back to his usual role after being attacked by Anderson.

John Carpenter's Tales of Science Fiction: Vortex #5 cover by Tim Bradstreet
John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: Vortex #5 cover by Tim Bradstreet

Vortex #5 is a high-action issue. The creatures on the mining station openly attack Dixon and Taylor’s team. Taylor and his soldiers fight back, but it only seems to split the inky mass to create more creatures. The Grigory plot gives a little more on how this monster works and how it doesn’t necessarily convert the mind. Grigory seems reluctant to help Anderson and Josie, but he helps them regardless.

The inky mass isn’t the most visually interesting creature, though. It’s reminiscent of the Necromorphs from Dead Space or the Flood from Halo. The material itself isn’t interesting; it’s how it mutates the human body that makes things interesting.

Speaking of which, we do see another character return in a monstrous form courtesy of the monstrosity infecting the mining station, and this person’s new body does have an unnervingly great new design.

Dave and Pete Kennedy have already proven their merit in this comic, and their work continues to shine trough with Vortex #5. The action is kinetic and weighty. The characters’ expression conveys their feelings very well, especially the quiet anguish of Grigory. The color palette is grim, cold, and ominous. Vortex is an all-around great-looking book.

John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: Vortex #5 is another good entry in the saga. While action takes priority over character development, we still get good moments with our cast. They are compelling enough so that you don’t want to see them die, and that is a trick a lot of horror fails to pull off. The art continues to be rock-solid, and the overall comic earns another recommendation. Check it out.

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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.