If there’s a blockbuster trend I’ll get behind with all of my enthusiasm, it’s a space thriller, and I’m hoping that the enormous success of Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity will inspire a handful of equally talented filmmakers to project their minds out into the universe. (Just mentioning Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar has a Pavlovian effect on my salivary glands.) Perhaps there’s a chance we’ll one day see a feature adaptation of Dark Horse‘s new miniseries Deep Gravity, which sounds as if it will be telling the exact type of story that I want from every space-related saga that comes out. Other than Saga, of course, which is doing just fine as is.
The long and short of Deep Gravity‘s plot involves a team of deep-space explorers who embark on a years-long journey, with a lot of human drama thrown into a story filled with big ideas and astrobiology. The series will be written by Dark Horse vets Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, who are known for their work on Star Wars: Legacy and Planet of the Apes, with art from newcomer Fernando Baldo. Luckily, Bechko and Hardman’s vast imaginations aren’t being tethered to existing franchises with this series, and they’ll be allowed to explore places they’ve never gone before. But it isn’t as if this is completely off-the-rails storytelling.
“In some ways the world of Deep Gravity is just as set,” Hardman told Comic Book Resources, “because we’re trying to be fairly accurate about the science without losing any of the storytelling dynamism.” He goes on to say this will be a first for them as far as hard sci-fi goes:
Star Wars: Legacy is clearly space fantasy, and Planet of the Apes doesn’t really have much sci-fi to it when you get beyond the premise. Being able to use somewhat more realistic physics in a space story puts different limits on the kind of action we can portray, but that’s a good thing in my book.
Bechko says the story is anchored to a main character whose motivations are different from the rest of the crew, and are somewhat romantic in his mind. But beyond everyone’s personal reasons for adventure, she says the story will involve “a whole new planet orbiting a different type of star, weird animals and the rigors of space travel, all measured against humanity’s capacity to adapt to circumstances that test its limits.” That’s lofty plotting to say the least.
As far as tone, neither they nor Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson want you to confuse this story with the Sandra Bullock hit. “It’s a fun story,” says Richardson, who took years tinkering with the concept before finding his team. “It’s a story of survival and the irresistible pull one person can have on another. It’s a little bit Alien-esque with a little bit of The Poseidon Adventure in space thrown in.” Everything about this sounds great to me.
You can find Deep Gravity orbiting comic book shelves this summer. Check out a sample page with a first look at Baldo’s art below. (Aside from the unlettered page seen above of course.)