Review - Space Riders: Vortex of Darkness #1 (@blackmaskstudio)

"The end to all dimensions is near..."

Intergalactic threats have a way of bringing people together in an effort to stop them. In Space Riders: Vortex of Darkness #1 from Black Mask Studios, the gang is getting back together for quite the intergalactic threat indeed. The issue is written by Carlos Giffoni, illustrated by Alexis Ziritt and lettered by Ryan Ferrier.

It's been twenty years since the riders defeated the DESTROYER GOD OF EVIL and saved the galaxy. But when THE MOTHER OF ALL EVIL GODS appears and threatens to take control of every dimension and every strain of possible reality, the now cybernetically-enhanced ex-riders will come together and travel into her mind to ASSASSINATE HER SOUL! It's a suicidal mission into an infinite vortex of blood and death!

Giffoni doesn't waste any time in opening the issue with a failed assassination attempt parlayed directly into saving the galaxy. The issue follows Peligro as he rallies the troops for seemingly one last ride as Giffoni crashes through the narrative to get the reader prepped for what's to come. Giffoni embraces the alphaness of Peligro as a means of infusing the issue with intensity. The dialogue is intentionally aggressive as well and Giffoni uses it quite elegantly actually as a means of defining the cast of characters even further, although the simplicity of it at times feels a little abrupt. Giffoni is seemingly unabashed in his fervor though, primarily engaging further in the notion that a character who's short-tempered and aggressive can carry a story.

Ziritt's artwork is quite trippy in many regards, capturing the split personalities of the book itself very well. Ziritt uses a lot of distorted characters and perspectives throughout the issue that give the book a more galactic feel, befitting of the story itself. Considering the story is really about an intergalactic space demon, the disjointed style is very appropriate for the story's setting and events. Ziritt also uses a fairly standard panel layout throughout the book that helps corral the madness somewhat. The colors are also purposefully loud and vivid, as Ziritt relies on bright neons that take the book to another level.

Simply calling Space Riders: Vortex of Darkness #1 "metal" really doesn't do the issue the justice it deserves as a frenetic, no-holds barred intersection between the galaxy and Satan. Peligro is a man on a mission to save the galaxy; whether or not he's successful remains to be seen. Giffoni's script is singularly focused in what it's attempting to achieve and that's being as outlandish as possible. There are some people who may be turned off by the artwork as Ziritt's style is extremely unstable, although it's very appropriate for the context of the book. Space Riders: Vortex of Darkness #1 is a lot of fun and doesn't require a lot of commitment on the part of the reader.

Space Riders: Vortex of Darkness #1 is available now.