Continuing Marvel’s 80th anniversary celebration, Journey into Unknown Worlds #1 offers up two short-but-sweet sci-fi creepers.
In our first story, Bones of the Earth, a team of scientists sent to locate their lost comrades make a disturbing discovery that could spell doom for the entire planet. In Chrysalis, a camping trip takes a macabre turn after one boy sees a meteor crash in the woods. While compact, both are absolute gems.
As with last week’s Crypt of Shadows #1, Journey into Unknown Worlds takes a classic Marvel title and updates it, while preserving the charm of the original.
Both stories in this volume are decidedly creepy, especially Cullen Bunn’s Bones of the Earth. This tale hinges on the time-tested formula of scientists making an inexplicable discovery, only for the madness to mount from there. The storytelling has a Lovecraftian style, building tension as it weaves toward the existential horror of the climax.
Chrysalis by Clay McLeod Chapman exists on a smaller thematic scale, but is a fun sci-fi thriller as well. This story has a timeless quality. It feels modern, but also like something you could find in a genuine Golden Age horror anthology.
It’s impressive what both writers manage to turn in with such a limited space. Journey into Unknown Worlds #1 demonstrates mastery of storytelling through economy.
With both stories featured in Journey into Unknown Worlds #1, the visuals are an absolute treat.
The artwork in Bones of the Earth is vital to selling the horror of the story. Guillermo Sanna’s art is brilliant from the beginning of the story, where our protagonist and his team discover a massive, warped human skeleton, all the way through the last panels. The creatures Sanna creates are twisted and grotesque like something out of John Carpenter’s The Thing.
Francesco Manna’s artwork in Chrysalis works great as well. The strength here is in giving the reader a seemingly-ordinary scenario that easily transitions into monstrosity once the story pivots. Manna manages to pull that off.
Lee Loughridge provides color work for Journey into Unknown Worlds #1. He displays a tremendous skill at matching the tone and palette of colors to the art style, providing an eye-catching mix of soft and vibrant colors in Bones of the Earth.
Journey into Unknown Worlds #1 is another excellent tribute to Marvel’s horror and sci-fi legacy. Definitely pick this one up.