Book Review: Dead Space: Liberation

LiberationTo wrap up the last of the Dead Space graphic novels, here is the review on Dead Space: Liberation. This one sees Christopher Shy return as the artist and Ian Edington take over the writing duties. This book takes place in between the events of Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3. I’m going to dispense with the spoilerific details, unlike my previous entries, and just go for some thoughts on this book.

First, if you’ve played Dead Space 3, this will give you some background on John Carver and his rather sad story. What I like about this is that at least this time they introduce a character to me that I want to actually get to know a little bit about. He’s not exactly the dashing hero type, he’s gruff as you’d expect a military type to be. However, there’s a sympathy to him because they are brutal to him right out of the gate.  His decisions throughout the book are based on honoring his wife, which wasn’t exactly how that started out.

While Carver is fleshed out to the point of getting to know him, they really don’t flesh out too many other characters in this. This is one of the biggest problems facing graphic novels of this size. When you’ve got so few pages to tell a story, and so many characters, the fat that isn’t necessary for the best story flow doesn’t always get trimmed. I’m not going to complain that Mr. Edington’s book isn’t worth the read. In the context of the Dead Space universe, you’ll want to so that you know about an in-game character. If anything else I’d buy it for the art alone.  Mr. Shy’s artwork is still as stunning on this entry as it was the last one. There is almost a haze over his work that makes a book like this worth picking up.  I’m still not fond of the lettering choices they made here. The text isn’t as difficult to read as it was in Dead Space: Salvage, but it’s lacking a look. If they had chosen a different font style, then perhaps I would have been more inclined to go along with it.

What can I tell you about this book? Well, without spoiling it, not too much other than it does what it sets out to do.  It’s supposed to fill a few gaps in the story and on Carver. For those that haven’t played the game, nor read the previous entries, then you’re likely to get lost very quickly. This isn’t something that’s just easily accessible. It’s not hard to pick up on what’s happening, but it can get frustrating.  I, personally, wish they had dropped a few lines  of explanations on things.  Nothing major, just short paragraphs to catch people up that might not have picked up the other material.   I also think it could have done with having the small characters bios at the front of the book.  The last two had them, but this one throws you right into the story.    It helped me to learn a bit about the characters I saw, even if they didn’t get to do much.  It was nice to have a face with a name.

I recommend this one for the diehards of the series. It still keeps me motivated to go and pick up the games, because I’m curious to see where this story I’ve been following goes. The Necromorphs are still creepy looking, and if nothing else I get to stare at Mr. Shy’s artwork. There are bonuses to all the minuses.

Thank you to Titan Books for supplying me with this final entry. You can pick up Dead Space: Liberation, Dead Space, and Dead Space: Salvage from the Titan website. Liberation came out on February 5th, the same day as the release of Dead Space 3. Happy reading and gaming!