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COMIC REVIEWS




CONTAINMENT (2005)

[5 Issues]

www.idwpublishing.com

TPB - #1 - #2 - #3 - #4 - #5

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TRADE PAPERBACK
Pre-order at Amazon
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Date: August 31, 2005

Writer: Eric Red
Artist: Nick Stakal
Cover: Nick Stakal

Format: 120 pages; Softcover; Color
Cover Price: $19.99

BUY AT AMAZON:
Amazon.com  United Kingdom

SYNOPSIS:
Screenwriter Eric Red (The Hitcher, Near Dark) offers up a zombie story set in space. On a manned NASA space ship millions of miles from Earth, a terrifying malfunction occurs in the cryogenic hypersleep pods containing the hibernating astronauts, turning most of the crew into the violently brain-dead.
 
DEAD KEV SAYS:
If the name Eric Red sounds familiar, it should be for horror fans. Eric Red's a screenwriter who's had his hand in such films as The Hitcher, Near Dark, Body Parts, and Bad Moon. The latter two he also directed. In Containment, Red puts a crew of 12 astronauts in dire peril as they awaken prematurely during their trip to Saturn. The journey was supposed to take 32 years, but a breach of containment at year 26 cuts the journey short.

Things aren't looking so bright for the crew of the N.A.S.A Explorer. Some of the crew have left containment early and are wandering the ship. Mission Commander Stark is the first (living) crew member to stop snoozing, albeit rather abruptly, to notice that things aren't well. We don't know how, why, or exactly when it occurred, but Stark realizes quickly that some crew members are not themselves anymore. She and the rest of the unaffected crew find themselves millions of miles from Earth, with no place to go, and alone with their zombified crewmembers.

Containment's a very cool concept, even though very reminiscent of Alien (replace alien with zombies). Mixing horror and sci-fi is an area that is vastly untapped. Eric Red’s writing is solid. He does an exceptional job at ratcheting up the tension page by page. Nick Stakal’s artwork is a big part of that, as it creates a very dark and foreboding atmosphere. He’s exceptional at putting that ‘what’s in the shadows’ feeling onto paper. However, though Stakal fit well with this story, personally I’m not completely sold on it. His style is quite dark and quite rough. There's a certain appeal to it, I suppose, but I wanted more detail. It wasn’t uncommon for me to study a frame for far too long, trying to figure out exactly what was going on in it. Eric Red’s Containment may not stick with you forever, but it’ll entertain you in the moment.

The trade paperback collects all five issues of the series, and compiles all the covers at the end. It does not contain any of the short stories that were added to the individual issues.


ISSUE #1
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Publisher: IDW Publishing
Date: January 19, 2005

Writer: Eric Red
Artist: Nick Stakal
Cover: Nick Stakal

Format: 32 pages; Color
Cover Price: $3.99
SYNOPSIS:
In this debut issue by Red and artist Nick Stakal (Hyde), a handful of outnumbered astronauts awaken intact from their artificial slumber to find themselves pitted against murderous zombies running amok on the ship.
 
ADDITIONAL NOTES:
Four pages at the end of the book are allotted for a short story entitled “Problems Faced When Traveling” by Eric Warfield. It's not a zombie story, but there are some other familiar creatures in it. It's a well written story with some disturbing imagery. To tell you much of what it's about would be ruining it for you. It's worth reading for yourself.



ISSUE #2
Click to Enlarge
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Date: February 23, 2005

Writer: Eric Red
Artist: Nick Stakal
Cover: Nick Stakal

Format: 32 pages; Color
Cover Price: $3.99
SYNOPSIS:
The astronauts discover the zombies have disabled their ship’s oxygen supply and threaten to destroy the life-support system, too. Now, trapped on a vessel overrun with the undead, the crew struggles to regain control of their ship before they run out of air. And when one of the astronauts gets some survival ideas of their own, the others realize zombies could be the least of their problems…
 
ADDITIONAL NOTES:
“All in the Name of the Hunt” by Dan Taylor finished off issue #2. It’s a neat short story about a bounty hunter who made a deal that just might not turn out the way he wanted. It shows you just shouldn’t make deals with…unseemly types.



ISSUE #3
Click to Enlarge
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Date: March 30, 2005

Writer: Eric Red
Artist: Nick Stakal
Cover: Nick Stakal

Format: 32 pages; Color
Cover Price: $3.99
SYNOPSIS:
The surviving astronauts continue their perilous trek across the spacecraft, fighting their way past the zombies in order to retake the ship. When one of their own turns, that complicates things a bit, as does a perilous spacewalk.
 
ADDITIONAL NOTES:
IDW’s editor-in-chief Chris Ryall writes up the grisly short story, “Barrow People,” in issue #3. Vampires are rampaging in Barrow, a town in northern Alaska. It’s a tale of inner turmoil as Sarah, cowering from the monsters one moment, soon has a new problem to deal with.


ISSUE #4
Click to Enlarge
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Date: April 27, 2005

Writer: Eric Red
Artist: Nick Stakal
Cover: Nick Stakal

Format: 32 pages; Color
Cover Price: $3.99
SYNOPSIS:
Plagued by the living dead on a spacecraft without oxygen, light or gravity, two astronauts devise a desperate plan to ensure their survival. When something goes very wrong, they end up marooned outside the vessel on a spacewalk of death. Meanwhile, treachery from within decreases their chances of survival even more.
 
ADDITIONAL NOTES:
There’s no short story in this issue. It’s been replaced by a longer IDW letters column than was first seen in the previous issue.


ISSUE #5
Pre-order at Amazon
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Date: May 16, 2005

Writer: Eric Red
Artist: Nick Stakal
Cover: Nick Stakal

Format: 32 pages; Softcover; Color
Cover Price: $3.99
SYNOPSIS:
The story concludes with a fatal showdown between two of the remaining astronauts, one inside the ship, the other stranded outside in space, in a deadly war of wits. The winner will be determined by the third and last astronaut, who may or not be a zombie. Only one astronaut will live to face the terrifying and unexpected final twist.
 
ADDITIONAL NOTES:
In this last issue, it’s back to a short story to finish things up. Jason Miller’s “Road Trip” plunges us in the middle of a kidnapping. Vampires David and Max have taken their prey on a little trip. But, when the car breaks down in the middle of the desert, things get a lot more interesting.



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