Dead Space (comics)
Dead Space #1 (Mar 2008). Pencils, inks and colors by Ben Templesmith.
|Publication date||March 2008 - present|
|Number of issues||7|
Dead Space is a 2008 comic book prequel to the game Dead Space: Extraction and to the film Dead Space: Downfall. The video game Dead Space continues where the film ended. It is published by Image Comics and is written by Antony Johnston, who also wrote the game's dialogue, with art by Ben Templesmith. An animated version of the comic was available to download via Xbox Live, PSN and various game review sites such as Gametrailers.com in summer 2008. The animated version is also available as bonus material in Dead Space: Extraction.
In the distant future, humanity has colonized worlds beyond Earth's solar system. Two-hundred years prior, a man named Michael Altman discovered an artifact of unknown origin (known as "The Black Marker") which led him to begin a new religion - Unitology - that supposedly taught the truth about human existence. Altman was later killed, allegedly by the government, in an attempt to silence the truth - however, the veracity of this account has yet to be confirmed. In present time, a new Marker has been discovered on another colony and strange things have been happening amongst the colonists. The comics start off with Neumann making a video log about what happens in the comic, but the comic drifts away from Neumann's point of view occasionally and feature events that Neumann is not present at.
Introduction (Issue Zero)
This issue is only available as an animated comic and is not available in print like the rest of the issues.
Sergeant Abraham Neumann and Detective Vera Cortez, operatives from Planetside Security (P-SEC), are investigating a local disturbance at Apartment 23 Row D4 B Block, inhabited by a surveyor named Lisa and her husband Tom who works at the morgue. Neumann attempts to open the door and discovers the pad is inactive. He contacts Marla at P-SEC who unlocks the door from her end. Neumann and Cortez enter the room, which "stinks" according to Cortez, and find blood stains on the wall and floor. Neumann notes that this incident would be the 32nd assault in the past week, as opposed to three since the colony started. Cortez finds Lisa's mangled body, which to her shock - moves. She calls Marla to request a trauma team. Without warning, Lisa's writhing and growling corpse impales Cortez in the shoulder, while Neumann fires his weapon and calls for backup. After being thrown to the ground, Neumann finds a tazer which he then uses to shock Lisa. As operatives Jones and McCabe arrive, Lisa's morphed body jumps through the wall. Neumann notes that it might be a long day.
Chapter One begins with a very bloody Sergeant Abraham Neumann from P-SEC making a security log, with blood on the walls all around him. He says that if a planetside survivor finds the security log, they are doomed, and should not bother to escape. He warns that if anyone finds the log, they are to order the colony be nuked, so "humanity doesn't suffer the same fate."
Back at P-SEC five weeks prior, Marla is invited on a date by Neumann when she sees a video feed from Jen Barrow's dig team showing an unknown, double helix-shaped structure covered with red symbols. Marla patches the feed to the P-SEC lounge where Sergeant Neumann, his partner Detective Vera Cortez and their Commander are watching in awe and confusion. Cortez contacts Barrow and asks if the structure is what she thinks it is. Barrow simply replies that it depends on "how fucked up [her] thoughts are".
Some time later, Neumann and Cortez go out for lunch at Lounge Area Three. A group of miners are talking about the find. One of the miners is upset that excavation prep was shut down because of what she believes to be a simple piece of rock while another, a Unitologist believes it to be a "Marker" and the next step in human evolution; a new life beyond death. A scuffle breaks out between the two miners when the latter's faith is insulted. Neumann and Cortez intervene, and it is revealed that Neumann isn't fond of Unitology, while Cortez is a Unitologist herself. The two miners avoid time in the brig when Neumann is unable to contact Marla.
Meanwhile a miner suffering from insomnia is at the office of Dr. Tom Sciarello, asking for help. Sciarello believes the issue is depression caused by the miners having lost their chance at glory because of the Ishimura, but the miner insists that is not the issue. Unconvinced, the doctor prescribes some sedatives to help the miner sleep. After the miner leaves, the doctor's nurse Katie notes this to be the 20th case of insomnia in three days, and the doctor agrees that something strange is going on.
Later, at Union Square, VTM Engineer 1st Class and Unitologist Deacon Abbot is preaching to a small crowd of fellow believers, mentioning that it has been 200 years since the discovery of the "First Marker" by Michael Altman, and that the discovery of this unknown structure confirms the truth of Unitology. Cortez and Neumann are also present for the gathering – much to the dismay of Cortez, Neumann speaks up against discovery of the Marker, stating that the first one was black while the new one is red. Abbott and Neumann discuss the validity of Unitology, and Cortez sides with her fellow believers.
At the Marker, now known as Dig Site GL-426, a small security team led by Natalia Deshinov is complaining about their assignment to look after the Marker. Natalia, although not a Unitologist, does think the Structure is an awesome find. She notes that Colony Manager Hanford Carthusia wants it looked after.
Meanwhile, an assault takes place at Surgery 1 West Sector 9 Level 5. Neumann and Cortez respond to the call. Nurse Katie hiding behind a desk points out the insomniac miner from before is holding Dr. Tom Sciarello at gunpoint with a laser cutter, raving about what he sees at night while he can't sleep. Neumann attempts to appease the miner into putting the cutter down, but instead he fires it wildly around. Cortez shoots him in the shoulder and tackles him to the ground while Neumann tends to the doctor. As he regains his senses, he notices with horror that Katie has been cut in half across the torso.
Some time before, Carthusia is in his office talking to Captain Matthius of the Ishimura via video call, who has just received unspecified orders from an authority higher than the government. Carthusia, a third-generation Unitologist, realizes this refers to the church of Unitology. Matthius assigns Carthusia the task of protecting the Marker at all costs until the Ishimura arrives. Carthusia is pleased to hear the structure is confirmed as a marker.
Lastly, Deacon Abbot and a few fellow believers take a mole to see the Marker for themselves. Against his comrades' wishes, Abbot defiantly touches the Marker, and has a vision of his deceased mother, who implores him not to let "them" take "it." When he comes to his senses, he believes he had caught a glimpse of the "other side."
Dr. Tom Sciarello is at a press conference at Union Square mourning the death of Katie, his nurse and assistant of five years. He mentions that her call to P-SEC saved his life and that he would willingly trade it back for hers. As he says this, Katie appears as an apparition and tells Tom that he has more important things to do, that he's "gotta stop them." In shock, Tom breaks down and is escorted off the podium.
Some time later that morning, Sergeant Abraham Neumann of P-SEC visits his partner Detective Vera Cortez at her home, Apartment 35, Row 7-A. She has developed insomnia and been late to shifts for the past 3 days. She's been taking sedatives, and, just like other miners the pair have arrested, that doesn't always work. When Neumann makes a joke about Cortez's faith, she throws him out of her apartment.
Meanwhile, Colony Manager Hanford Carthusia reprimands Deacon Abbot about his unauthorized visit to the Marker from his office via video call, claiming it's a "major archaeological find" and that its status as a Marker is "still to be determined". He adds that if Abbot goes near the Marker again, he will be deported back to Earth. Abbot is outraged how a fellow Unitologist is preventing them from practicing their faiths, yet Carthusia merely replies that he doesn't want them to "stop believing", just for them to stay away from the marker. Just as Carthusia ends the call, Dr. Sciarello arrives to see him. Dr. Sciarello urges Carthusia to make the insomnia problem their "top priority" and points out that the problem started ever since the Marker was found. He requests that he be allowed to examine it, but Carthusia refuses and asks the Doctor to leave, but not before asking him where Katie's body is. Sciarello claims it's in the morgue, but when he asks Carthusia why he asked, the latter sends him away.
At Dig Site GL-426, Natalia Deshinov once again shows her astonishment at the find to her partner Jerry. Deacon Abbot arrives with a group of people demanding to get closer to the Marker. Natalia politely rebuffs them, but then Abbot tells her about the "vision" he had, claiming it means the Marker is "the real deal". He then politely requests to be let in, which Natalia accepts, but Jerry still refuses, citing the fact that Abbot was singled out by Carthusia. Abbot finally backs down, claiming the group will stay behind the security cordon to pray.
Meanwhile Dr. Sciarello and Sergeant Neumann are en route to the dig site. Sciarello thanks the Sergeant for helping him, and the latter claims it's because he also has suspicions about "the rock". Sciarello is glad to "hear someone NOT call it the Marker" and the Sergeant once again voices his disdain about Unitology. When Sciarello asks about Cortez, Neumann claims she has the same insomnia as the other miners and had a falling out. However when asked if it was "because of her faith", Neumann replies "No. Because she's an idiot."
Sciarello and Neumann arrive at the dig site. Neumann, seeing the Marker for the first time, is astonished. Natalia doesn't allow the two to get any closer but then Neumann spots Cortez amongst Abbot's group, despite thinking she was sick in her apartment. Cortez replies that Abbot told her to go to the dig site instead and that she feels better already. Once again, Cortez and Neumann get into an argument about her beliefs, with Neumann claiming he "lost [his] wife to [their] fucked up cult." Neumann then attempts to bring Cortez back to the colony for a psychiatric evaluation before Abbot stops him and Natalia's security group orders Neumann to leave due to him "disturbing the prayer group". Neumann asks Sciarello what just happened, but the Doctor merely states he doesn't want to be near the Marker for a second longer.
On the return trip, Sciarello finds his scanner didn't detect anything unusual, despite scanning for every possible kind of reading: "As far as science is concerned, it's just a rock." Neumann states he worked with Cortez in three colonies and that "just wasn't her." He claims he's certain that the Marker is the cause of all this and Schiarello states "this can't go on."
Back at P-SEC, Marla shows Neumann an unauthorized vid-log of the Marker. She comments on the glowing symbols, noticing some are repeated, "like some sort of code or language" and have similarities to advanced mathematics. Neumann laughs off these theories pointing out the Unitologists have tried to decipher the first Marker for centuries to no avail. Marla says maybe "a fresh perspective is all it needs."
At the same time, Carthusia is in his office talking to a security guard (and fellow Unitologist), wishing to know who made that vid-log. He orders the guard and his team to relieve Natalia's team from guarding the Marker and arrest them if they refuse.
The guard and his team then arrive at the dig site, telling Natalia that they are all relieved of duty and placed under arrest due to Carthusia's suspicion that the vid-log was made by one of them. Natalia rebuffs all these accusations then suddenly draws a plasma cutter and kills the guard. When Jerry tries to calm Natalia down, she says she "won't let them hurt it" and even if they kill her "[He'd] see her again." This ends up distracting Natalia long enough for one of the other guards to knock her unconscious.
Later on, Neumann and his Commander are urging Carthusia to have the colony evacuated. Carthusia replies this is unacceptable, due to the mining operation having already cost several billions of dollars only to be abandoned 3 weeks before planet crack due to the death of a few miners. Carthusia adds that in 4 days, the Marker will be lifted into the colony then transferred onto the Ishimura when it arrives. Neumann is outraged at the thought of the Marker being brought into the colony, only for Carthusia to end the call. When Neumann asks the Commander what to do, he merely replies "Brace ourselves." .
Sergeant Abraham Neumann comments to Dr. Tom Sciarello how "half the colony is walking around like it's the end of the world." Sciarello recalls his vision of Katie's ghost: he claims that despite being a lifelong atheist and skeptic and convinced the vision was an hallucination, if he were a spiritual man, he'd be praying right now. Neumann is befuddled how a group of blue-collar miners can get "so worked up over a rock", but Sciarello points out it's the same thing as doing so about a chalice or a scroll. He adds that Hanford Carthusia finally allowed him access to Natalia Deshinov and plans to question her.
Meanwhile, Deacon Abbott addresses an enormous crowd of Unitologists in a vehicle maintenance bay. He claims that "everyone has a theory" about the Marker's purpose and origins but that Unitology has the truth: that the Marker is "talking" to them. He cites the growing depression felt amongst the miners since the Marker as proof of this: the Marker is "preparing" them, making them have thoughts of death and the "realization" that material life is unimportant.
Later on, Dr. Sciarello arrives at Natalia's holding cell. In a panic, she tells the doctor that every night, even when she can't sleep, she dreams about killing people. She adds that they have to leave the planet before attempting to strangle Sciarello. The holding cell's guard then enters and subdues Natalia, who begs him to kill her while Sciarello looks in disbelief.
At P-SEC, Marla tells Neumann to go to Union Square, where Abbott will be giving a speech. Abbott is jubilant at the fact that the Marker is about to be moved into the colony and tells the crowd about this "glorious day" and how they will be waiting for the chance to "ascend and become one with God". He instructs the crowd to "await the voice of God". Neumann spots Detective Vera Cortez in the crowd and once again tries to convince her to go home, citing Abbott's speech as proof that he is crazy but Cortez doesn't listen. Marla informs Neumann that the Marker is being placed inside the colony as they speak. Suddenly, everyone in the crowd of Unitologists draws out weapons and a deafening high pitched noise is heard, causing pain to everyone in the area. Abbott orders the crowd to "listen to the voice of God and prepare" themselves, at which point everyone in the crowd points their guns at their heads. Neumann tries to stop Cortez from doing so but she calmly replies "Don't worry Braham. See you soon." The crowd, along with Abbott and Cortez then commits mass suicide. Carthusia watches this gruesome sight from his office and smiles.
Later on, P-SEC officers Jones and McCabe go to check on the Marker. Foreman Barrow, the foreman responsible for the Marker's transport, informs them everyone involved in transporting has felt sick, with one person even throwing up and collapsing. Barrow is unaware of what happened in Union Square and the officers inform him.
Meanwhile, Captain Matthius is once again talking to Carthusia via video call. He demands that the bodies of the Union Square crowd be frozen so they can be "in top condition" when the Ishimura arrives. Carthusia asks if it makes any difference but Mathhias replies "Better safe than sorry. All recumbents of the Church are treated the same way." Carthusia ensures the captain "will get [his] cemetery" and the Captain states that "their" future is depending on it and urges Carthusia to not let "them" down.
Elsewhere in a "megavent", a technician (later named as Supervisor Cameron) is leading Neumann far along the vent to show him something he found in the vent; a strange foul-smelling blob. Neumann attempts to collect a sample when suddenly, to his surprise, the blob moves. Neumann then starts burning the blob despite the technician's warning that the vent feeds into the entire colony. Neumann responds "Exactly." Neumann leaves while Cameron resumes the job.
Back in P-SEC, Jones and McCabe are looking at a large list of recent assaults and murders commenting they have never seen anything like this. Neumann arrives and Jones and McCabe inform him about the Marker's status. Neumann looks at the list and notices that apart from the mass suicide, there haven't been any violent crimes that day. Neumann asks about Marla and they tell him she went home sick from a headache.
Meanwhile, Dr. Sciarello arrives at the apartment of Mrs. Fencher, who called him due to being concerned about her husband. She claims her husband was one of the members of the dig team that uncovered the Marker, and hasn't been himself ever since. Sciarello enters Mr. Fencher's room and finds the walls completely covered in scribbles like the Marker's symbols, and phrases like "Altman Be Praised" and "THE MARKER WILL SET US FREE". Sciarello finds Mr. Fencher in the corner babbling maniacally about "the key" and "Death [being] the answer". When Sciarello approaches to give him a sedative, Mr. Fencher starts strangling him and screaming "Kill! KILL! DEATH!", only to be saved by Mrs. Fencher who injects him with the sedative. Sciarello then compares this to the incident with Natasha and the suicides in Union Square. Mrs. Fencher asks what's going on and if her husband will be all right, only for Sciarello to reply that apparently right now no one can figure it out.
At Carthusia's office, Neumann once again confronts the Colony Manager, demanding they abort the operation. Carthusia once again refuses with the same argument as before. Neumann then shows Carthusia a list of all the deaths since the colony started: in the past two and a half years, only 3 deaths had occurred (all working accidents). After the Marker was found, 65 deaths. Carthusia dismissively states that 52 of those were suicides only for Neumann to once again plead for Carthusia to stop this before it's too late. Carthusia replies it's already too late. Even if he wanted to abort the operation he no longer has the authority to do so: the Ishimura has arrived and Captain Matthius has taken control of the operation.
Issue Four starts with Neumann and Dr. Sciarello walking along a hallway, discussing how things are after the marker has been taken up to the ship. While Neumann states that crimes have gone down, Sciarello replies that "Almost 20% percent of the staff have psych problems." When they reach their destination Neumann wonders "If she's not cured why did [Sciarello] take her out of the secure chambers?" Sciarello replies that "She's not dangerous anymore, but far from cured." We quickly discover that Natalia Deshinov is inside the room. They enter the room, with Natalia asking "who's the cop?" Neumann notes that "[Natalia] seems kinda cheery for a nut-case." Sciarello answers that "it comes and goes."
After they leave, Neumann asks about the writing on the walls, which Sciarello points out he has seen with numerous others who have come into contact with the Marker. Neumann hastily leaves, saying he has a friend who would want to know about this. On his way he receives a call from Supervisor Cameron who tells him he has found more of the strange alien growths in the megavents again, only this time there's a lot more of it (covering an entire wall). Cameron's assistant Lambert arrives late due to another case of insomnia, and questions if the stuff grew there overnight, to which Cameron replies "Yeah, and you can make up for bein' late by gettin' down in those vents and burnin' it off."
Carthusia is speaking with the Captain about the status of the Marker and bodies, stating that the Marker is on its way and the murder victims will be on the second shuttle, the suicides will be on a third that will leave soon. Carthusia is excited about the events about to take place only to learn that he will not be joining the Ishimura as Matthius points out that the colony is out of control and does not want the same madness to affect his crew. He says he will issue a no-fly order between ship and planetside once the bodies are on board. An outraged Carthusia refuses to bring the bodies up himself, saying if Matthias wants them he'll have to break his own order and get them himself.
Neumann brings Marla to see Natalia. Natalia rambles on saying "there's no turning back, you don't understand," and "death is the key." Marla is stunned at the sight of all the writing on the walls.
Neumann once again tries to warn Carthusia about the situation, showing him the video from the hub of the megavents. He points out that only a small piece of it existed a week earlier, and now the entire hub is covered with it. He fruitlessly attempts to convince Carthusia that there is a hostile alien life form on the planet that they somehow missed in the initial sweep and it's infecting the colony. He once again dismisses him completely and planet-crack will proceed according to schedule in the morning.
Neumann comes to see Marla. She is writing something down, convinced she knows what the Marker is, that it has something to do with DNA but is still working on the specifics. Much to Neumann's chagrin, she is still obsessed about it and refuses to leave until she's finished. Planet-crack is about to start, with everyone getting ready. The order is then given and as it starts, a flash occurs and the colony undergoes a blackout, resulting in the colonists starting to panic. Neumann loses contact with Marla and cannot reach control. Sciarello notes that the backup generators should have turned on by now. He then spots Katie's ghost, and she tells him "There's no time, Tom. I tried to warn you. Now it's too late." As Neumann desperately tries to get through the crowds, Natalia exits her room and Cameron notes the problem with the comm, calling out to Lambert, but receiving no response. He goes to investigate and warns hims that he better not have fallen asleep but only finds his radio in the strange alien flesh. As he calls out to him again, a mass of the alien growth surges out of a nearby vent and attacks him. Neumann arrives at Marla's apartment and she asks about what's going on. He warns her to get her gun as he has a bad feeling about what's going on. She says that she had just realized something about the Marker when the power went out but Neumann interrupts her and says that they need to get to HQ and see what happened.
Carthusia has reached the morgue to visit the suicide bodies, apologizing that they couldn't join the others and that he's not sure if there will be another chance. The lights finally come on but the comm is still down.
Neumann and Marla reach the HQ. She questions the whereabouts of everybody and Neumann hopes that they're heading for the shuttle bay if they have any sense. They enter the HQ to find much to their horror that everyone is dead, including Jones, McCabe and the Commander. He spots some of the alien flesh again, pointing out it got there pretty fast from the vents.
Dr. Sciarello receives a distress call asking for help, telling him there's mass panic and people are dying. Sciarello is interrupted by what sounds like a scream from the hall and goes to investigate, confused at first that there's nobody there but then finds bodies that have been torn to shreds.
Neumann is stunned by the condition of the bodies and Marla warns him not to touch them. He agrees saying that they should call the ME but she says that they need to leave. She once again points out that she knows what the carvings on the Marker mean, it is in fact a set of instructions for altering DNA. As this is happening, back at the Morgue, Carthusia promises the suicide victims that their time will come and that he'll see to it himself. Neumann states that "DNA doesn't walk around and kill people", but she points out that it does if it's recombinant (confusing Neumann), explaining that they mutate genes at a cellular level, like a cancer or virus. Carthusia tells the bodies that they will all ascend soon. Marla continues her explanation of the Marker that this particular recombinant DNA only spreads through specific target vectors. This confuses Neumann once more and she yells "Necrotic flesh 'Braham, it infects dead bodies!" At the morgue, Carthusia says "Altman be praised" as a Necromorph approaches him from behind.
The story picks up from where Issue Four left off. Neumann is still confused about the situation with the Marker and what it does. "All right, fine, so it mutates dead bodies, but what killed them in the first place? This... stuff?" Marla replies that she's not sure. She attempts to call the Ishimura but with no luck as the comm is still down. They both watch in disgust as one of the bodies starts to mutate and its ribcage appears to rip itself open. Marla receives a distress call which she at first tries to put on hold but the caller yells "... are dying down here! We're being attacked! They're coming ...!" Marla is at first confused by who their attackers are. When Neumann sees the creature start to move he tackles Marla to the floor in fear of her safety, but she points out that it wasn't after her, it was going for another corpse to reproduce again. Neumann starts shooting the creature, swearing to kill Carthusia if he sees him again.
Back at the morgue, Carthusia says "I'm ready. Take me." And almost as if on command the Necromorph impales him through the chest. It leaves the morgue for the hallway. At Avenue B7 North Sector 3 we meet the caller of the distress signal. Further, he exclaims "People are dying down here! We're being attacked! They're coming right out of the walls!" but loses the signal and is cut off from further communication as a Necromorph attacks him.
Neumann at first thinks he's succeeded at killing the creature, only to see that the newly infected corpse has now mutated into a Necromorph. He shoots it as well but the bullets have no effect on it. Marla gets an idea to use an overturned table to trap it against the wall. But they realize that the first one is still alive and is infecting another corpse and the current one is not as trapped as they thought. Neumann grabs an axe and cuts off the Necromorph's head, believing it to be dead but they realize the first one will just keep making new ones so they decide to leave. He tries to call Dr. Sciarello but can't get a hold of him. He says they need to head for Union Square and get everyone out and head for the shuttle bay. Marla points out that there's a no-fly order in place and Matthias will have a fit. Neumann simply states "Then I've got two balls for his chin, because we're not staying here."
Sciarello and a few others are seen running for the Med-Labs trying to figure out the situation themselves. One doctor explains they need to be at the Med-Labs as that's where people will expect them to be if they need help. Sciarello reluctantly agrees. They enter the morgue and Sciarello sees that the suicide victims are all gone, pointing out to the others that Carthusia kept them here, against Sciarello's wishes. Sciarello starts to wash up when he feels a drip on his head, at first believing it to be a leak, only to his horror to discover a Necromorph hanging from the ceiling, which proceeds to impale him through the forehead.
At Union Square the colonist are in mass panic and are waiting for the trams, but the one that arrives is already full. The conductor attempts to convince them that it won't support the weight if any more get on, but the colonists are worried that they'll be dead before the next one comes. Natalia is seen heading in the opposite direction, which one of the colonists points out that it's her funeral, to which she responds "Yes, I suppose it is." Marla and Neumann arrive and he attempts to "organize" the crowd but Marla stops him. She thinks they should head for the shuttle bay on foot and help out with those on the way. The tram is about to leave as the conductor is finally able to keep them off, but he notices someone climbing on top. He attempts to warn them to get off, only to realize it's not a human. The crowd becomes more panicked than before. Neumann calls out telling the crowd to follow him as the Necromorphs start to attack.
At East Sector 2, Level 1, Natalia is slowly walking along the halls infested with the alien flesh and dead bodies. Among which are Necromorphs hidden in vents and behind doors, ready to attack. Natalia's fate is not yet revealed.
At South Sector 4, Level 6, Neumann and Marla are leading the surviving colonists from Union Square. One of them asks "What the fuck are those things?" Neumann replies "You wouldn't believe me if I told you." At first the colonist replies angrily but Neumann tells him that they're hostile and that bullets are ineffective against them. They come up to a closed door and Neumann can't get it open. Marla takes a look at it while the other colonists ask to find another way but Neumann shrugs the idea off as the only other path is a two-hour walk. The two hours apparently looks good to them when the door opens. Beyond the door is a room littered with bodies and the smaller Necromorphs move around to infect them. Neumann states that they can move through safe if they go quietly and quickly, as the creatures are too busy with the already dead bodies to bother them. The colonists are scared to do so as they witness the creatures "eating" the corpses. One of the colonists heads in to save someone he recognizes, kicking the creature off of the body, only to realize that the body is already infected. The body has mutated, and a nurse questions what it is. Marla simply responds "It's a sign. A sign that we just ran out of time. Run!"
The final comic begins with the colonist who was investigating an infected body getting impaled by the now-infected person, who has transformed into a necromorph. Marla and Neumann begin to lead the group away through the Necromorphs, but many of the colonists are slaughtered in the escape. As Neumann gets through the door leading out, he draws his gun, and Marla reminds him that shooting them has no effect. He replies by saying "Who said anything about shooting them?!" He then aims at a rack of oxygen tanks and shoots them as the door closes, creating a large explosion. Neumann and Marla arrive at a door to the shuttle bay with the survivors and one of them complains about how everything is the Unitologist's fault. As Marla opens the door, a huge crowd is seen trying desperately to get into the few remaining shuttles. The scene cuts to Natalia Deshinov still walking the halls and writing symbols from the Marker on the walls in blood.
Back at the shuttle bay, Marla says that only five shuttles are left, and that it is probably a 30-minute round trip for them to return for more passengers. Another shuttle takes off with more passengers, while on board, the pilot and a passenger begin to argue about the excess payload of passengers. Neumann notices that the shuttle begins to rock back and forth from too many people on board and the pilot and passenger get into a fight, resulting in the pilot being knocked out and the shuttle loses control. The shuttle soon after promptly falls and crashes into the launching bay, destroying it and most of the other shuttles. Neumann and the colonists express their frustration while Marla suggests to Neumann that she can maybe get a better communication signal to the Ishimura from the main communication needle. Neumann tries to dissuade her, saying it is too long of a walk. She refuses however, and they leave the launch bay to go try to get a signal. The scene then switches again to Natalia driving a rover to the edge of a cliff (possibly the site of the planet-crack) and marveling at the view before saying "I'm ready. Make me whole." She then jumps off the cliff, killing herself.
Meanwhile, Marla and Neumann make their way into the comm. needle, with Marla telling him that there are no permanent staff at the needle. They find a door inside to be open, which is strange, since no one works at the needle. Neumann then states that something might have gotten inside before they did. More of the growth from earlier in the story happens to be prevalent in the room, and Neumann urges Marla to find a terminal. She then becomes stressed, saying that the orange-like growth might have killed the power and she would have to re-route power. Neumann calms her saying "You're a genius, remember?" They are interrupted by a noise from the power room and they soon find out that inside of it the growth has greatly increased, with more Necromorphs inside. Neumann quickly loses concentration when he sees his deceased partner Vera Cortez's body sticking out of the growth. The Necromorphs in the room begin to approach, and Marla snaps him out of it. Neumann dashes back through the door, with Marla right behind him, who is struck down by a Necromorph. She gets up and attempts to run, but is impaled through the chest from behind. A dying Marla hits the close button to the door, saving Neumann but leaving her to be torn apart by the Necromorphs.
As Neumann succumbs to his loss, the scene cuts to his security vid-log from Issue One. He says that Marla died 12 hours before he made the vid-log, and he has not seen another sign of life for the last six hours. He then states (maniacally grinning) that "They say there are no Atheists in foxholes? Well after this, it's more like the other way around." He then leaves the vid-log recording and walks away, saying to whoever may find it "Don't come looking for me. You may not like what you find," ending the comic series.
Dead Space: Extraction
This is a oneshot issue that accompanied the Wii game, Dead Space: Extraction. It is a prequel comic to the prequel game. The events occur before Isaac arrived on the Ishimura and revolves around Nicole Brennan's journey to survival of the infection.
- P-SEC - Planetside Security, the local colony law enforcement.
- Sergeant Abraham Neumann - A devoted P-SEC operative and protagonist of the comic book's events; he is usually called "Braham" by his co-workers. He staunchly disagrees, even resents Unitology, making it somewhat ironic that his friend and partner is a Unitologist herself. He mentions having lost his wife to Unitology's beliefs. After losing everyone close to him and soon losing contact with everyone else, he appears to be on the verge of insanity by the end of the series. The last we see of him he is walking away from the video log he was previously recording, presumably to his death. In the game, Isaac Clarke finds an audio excerpt of a message Neuman makes after the shuttles crash in issue five. At random, the player can hear a whisper saying "Neumann is dead..." after listening to the audio log.
- Dr. Tom Sciarello - The local colony doctor, a sound atheist and very confused by events of the story, including experiencing visions of dead friends. In the fifth issue, Sciarello is impaled through the forehead by a Necromorph hanging from the ceiling of the Morgue. An audio log found on the Ishimura has one of the medical staff members compare his situation of the insanity caused in the crew members to the one Sciarello faces on the colony.
- Hanford Carthusia - The manager of the colony, a third-generation Unitologist and constant thorn in the side of Neumann's investigation. In the end of the fourth issue, he is approached from behind by a Necromorph, continued in the fifth issue where Carthusia allows himself to be impaled through the chest by it.
- Necromorphs - The main antagonists in the Dead Space series, they do not appear until Issue Zero (but not officially until the end of Issue Four). Their exact origin is unknown or at least unrevealed. They exist in multiple forms but only two types are seen in the animated comics. According to Marla, the Marker has a series of carvings that are actually a code for recombinant DNA, and it mutates genes at a cellular level once the host is dead. The suicides being prime targets as they were exposed the longest, they mutated and started walking shortly after the planet-crack. The Necromorphs attack humans (and possibly other sentient beings) and kill them, leaving them to be infected by another type of Necromorph that crawls around. After mutation, the body appears to rip itself open and develop extra limbs that are used to impale and tear apart their victims. From what is seen in the Fifth Issue, Necromorphs are not greatly affected from bullets, which would explain the need for a weapon to dismember them, which Neumann accomplishes with an axe (however, it is possible he may have only stunned the creature as he cut off its head, and according to the game designers, decapitation is often not enough to kill them and it would probably just make their attacks more frenzied, which in Neumann's case would have been hindered as they had trapped the creature behind an overturned table). Alien flesh that has been spotted in several locations of the colony, particularly the megavents, seems to have some sort of connection with the Necromorphs, which in the game turn out to be part of the Hive Mind.
- Detective Vera Cortez - Neumann's partner and practitioner of Unitology, a fictional religion within the story. She develops insomnia, eventually becoming increasingly unstable, and takes part in a mass suicide with other Unitologists. To Neumann's horror, he sees her one last time at the end of the sixth issue, as part of the Necromorph flesh in the com needle.
- Deakin Abbot - A First-Class C.E.C. engineer and high-level Unitologist. He is the first to experience strange visions, and leads the mass suicide.
- Jen Barrow - The leader of the mining team that discovered the Marker. She is Colin Barrow's wife, who started the Necromorph outbreak aboard Ishimura by bringing an Infector and his dead wife with him from Aegis colony
- Natalia Deshyanov - The leader of the team dispatched to protect the Marker. She develops a fanatical devotion for protecting the Marker, even at the cost of her own life. She is later placed into protective custody. At the end of the sixth issue she commits suicide by jumping off a cliff, saying "I'm ready. Make me whole."
- Captain Matthius - The Captain of the Ishimura. He has frequent communications with Carthusia, requesting that corpses be delivered to the Ishimura upon its arrival. His fate at the end of the comics is unknown, although most likely alive since the Necromorph infection had not yet spread to the Ishimura. He is last seen in issue four, talking to Carthusia via video communication. His death is depicted twice in the Dead Space series. Once by Dr. Kyne, who considers it an accidental killing in an attempt to sedate Matthius as he exhibited symptoms of delirium as seen in a video log and Dead Space: Downfall, where it confirms that the death was an accidental death. Captain Matthius appears in the Dead Space game as a first Enhanced Slasher who is killed by Isaac, seeking Matthius' RIG.
- Supervisor Cameron - A technician working in the colony's "megavents". He is the one who discovered the strange alien growths in the ventilation system and warned Neumann about it. He is later attacked and likely killed by a Necromorph.
- Marla - The P-SEC go-to girl. It is implied that she and Neumann are in a relationship. She has an interest in Unitology, more specifically the Marker. She devises that the markings on it are a code for DNA and that it infects dead bodies, mutating them. In the sixth issue after the shuttles are destroyed she comes up with a plan to radio the up to the Ishimura and call for help, bypassing the problem with the comm by heading straight for the comm needle, but upon reaching the needle she realizes that the alien flesh is probably the cause of all the problems with it and that her job would be ten times harder. Upon investigating an open door, she is attacked and killed by Necromorphs.
- Katie - Tom's assistant and nurse. She is killed by a stray cutting beam, and later seen in a vision of Tom's. She warns Tom and Neumann of the imminent doom they are to encounter.
- Jerry - A member of Natalia's team. His fate is unknown, though it is most likely he was killed along with the rest of the colony.
- Jones and McCabe - Fellow P-SEC operatives. They are both killed and infected by the end of the fourth issue.