The Dead Space series has become popular enough that it has inspired a whole a line of graphic novels and comics. The latest Dead Space graphic novel published by Titan Books, called Liberation, was released at the beginning of February and is considered a prequel to the events of Dead Space 3. This review will cover both Liberation and Salvage, which was first released in 2010 and but recently re-released.
Dead Space: Liberation was written by Ian Edginton and illustrated by Christopher Sly. Edginton has written for numerous comics and won two Eisner Awards in 2007 for Best Limited Series and Best Writer for his work on Dark Horse's four issue mini-series, The Great Game. Dead Space: Salvage was also illustrated by Christopher Sly but written by Antony Johnston who wrote all the previous Dead Space comics as well. The writing in both graphic novels isn't too deep. The best way to describe it is that it's about what you would expect from a comic book based on a video game.
The art style in both Liberation and Salvage is much different from the previous Dead Space comics drawn by Ben Templesmith. Liberation and Salvage use a sort of ruggish painted style. Things seem a lot less detailed this way and personally, I didn't like it as much. It's all about personal preference when it comes to something like art, though, so I'm not going to knock it in this review. Check out some images from the books in the slide show above and decide for yourself how you feel about it.
Story wise, Liberation focuses on Earth Defense Force Sergeant John Carver who gets into trouble (of the Necromorph variety) while patrolling planet Uxor. Dead Space: Salvage takes place after the original Dead Space video game but prior to the events of Dead Space: Aftermath and Dead Space 2. It is about a group of miners that come across the USG Ishimura floating out in space. As you can imagine, their discovery turns out badly.
Liberation and Salvage will generally only appeal to readers who are hardcore fans of the Dead Space series. For people who are curious about the franchise and looking to learn about it, I would recommend first picking up the Dead Space comics compilation (you can see my review of that linked below).
Hardcover copies of Liberation are currently on sale at Amazon for just over $11 while softcover versions of Salvage are available for around $8.
Final Score: 4 /5 stars
(This review was based off a review copy of the books).