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Negative Space #1 Review: 'They' Feed Off Your Fear

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Have you ever had a bad day, when it felt like there are forces working against you? Have you ever felt that there was a strange group of people (only known as "they") controlling the world around you, making bad days bad and good days good?

This is the case in Dark Horse Comics' Negative Space #1 — but "they" who control things in the world are real here, and depend on creating emotions they can eventually harvest.

Negative Space #1 begins with a writer who feels so down, he decides to write a suicide note. He however comes up against writer's block, and as he struggles to find the right words, his suicide ends up getting put off.

Unfortunately, this affects the "they," known as the Kindred – who live somewhere away from humanity – because they need to harvest emotions to meet their quotas. And they were counting on this man to finish his suicide note so that others would read it and become emotionally affected by it, with those emotions going on to fuel their world.

Nothing, though, goes according to plan — and these emotion harvesters throw everything in the writer's path to support his depression and inspire his words. By the end of the comic, just when they think they've won, things change.

What makes this story work are the characters, very deftly written by Ryan K. Lindsay. Guy, the depressed writer, depends on inspiration — and deep down, you feel that he's a good guy. In contrast, the Kindred Rick – the man throwing wrenches into Guy's world – is a big jerk. He's only out to boost his numbers by collecting emotions that would stem from Guy's death. The two characters are a play of opposites, as are the two worlds they live in. Guy and Rick pull you in and when the word "continued" appears at the end of the book, you're left craving more.

Artist Owen Gieni perfectly complements this storytelling with the illustrations, showing Guy as soft, sympathetic and even pitiful, while the world of the Kindred is stark, corporate and bleak. The action panels where Rick throws everything he's got into Guy's world are exciting, but also dark — which perfectly suits the story told here.

Negative Space #1 is a great start to a good science fiction-meets-horror story, and the only downside of reading the first issue is having to wait for the next one.

Negative Space #1 is now available everywhere Dark Horse comics are sold, as well as on the official Dark Horse website.

Story

★★★★★

Art

★★★★★

Overall

★★★★★

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