‘Dark Matter II:’ Graphic Novel Review

If you’re looking for a light, fluffy graphic novel about rainbows, unicorns, and a world full of magical happiness, do not pick up Dark Matter II. If you want something that functions as pure mind candy (No judgment; we all need mind candy!), do not try reading Dark Matter II; however, if you’re in the mood for a graphic novel anthology of pessimistic and thought-provoking stories about the less savory sides of humanity, this book is definitely what you need.

Dark Matter II features six short comic stories: "The Rollover," "Cerulean Sky," "Stay with Me," "Unspoken," "Fine Dining," and "The Last Batch." They cover genres from thriller to sci-fi to horror and twisted slice of life, but the main theme always focuses on the blacker parts of human souls. At the same time, the circumstances force readers to examine how they might react in each situation, which is intriguing and helps make the unnerving plots go down a little more smoothly, at least for me.  I found "Fine Dining" to be the lightest story of the group, but it also reminded me slightly of my beloved Fried Green Tomatoes in one aspect; however, my favorite tale of the six is "Stay with Me," a bittersweet tale of a space station AI who falls in love with the engineer who maintains her.  It’s creepy and weird, but it touched my heart even though the concept of sentient AI scares me to death.

Each story in Dark Matter II features different artists and allows them to enjoy creating sequential art to propel the stories forward.  Some of it is very cartoony, some is more realistic, and some is reminiscent of the style of older newsprint cartoons.  The artwork does more to help distinguish the stories from one another than the writing, since they all have a single writer.

Comic books can make us think as much as they can be about escapism, and Dark Matter II (and the first volume) is an example of the former.  Pick up this volume and delve into subjects that aren’t always easy to think about but are worth exploring.  The stories will stick in your mind to revisit for a long while.

4 Theories about the spread of the Zombie Apocalypse out of 5

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