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The real shame of Dead Space: Salvage is that it really had no right to be this bad. Between a brilliant premise, a completely unexplored aspect of the universe and very talented creative team, this should have been an instant hit. Antony Johnston has enough experience with horror and awards to his name to prove he could create something great from this, and Christopher Shy’s unique surrealist artwork should have been at its best here. Instead we’re left with a mess which fails to utilise even half of what it brings up.
Set between the events of the original Dead Space video game and the Aftermath film, Salvage covers the efforts of the government and potentially Unitology to salvage something from the disaster. Even a cordon of military ships sweeps the area, their prize is found by an unlikely source. The Magpies, an assorted band of criminals, miners and smugglers, drag something massive into their position. Something which should have been left forgotten: The Ishimura. However, even as they board to salvage the ship, EarthGov agents close in and something stirs in the minds of the weak.
Following on from the game’s events it goes without saying that this was written for fans of that game, those who knew the plot and many basic elements of the universe. Things like the threat of the markers, how the Unitologists think and many details revealed in that game so the writers could focus their efforts elsewhere. You’d be partially right. Johnson skips much of the introductions and establishment of the universe, but then does nothing for most of the first issue.