Ruin #3 (Alterna Comics – Pinchuk / Gallagher / Gallagher) – BLACK ZERO’s final showdown with CARNUS looms, but the killing machine might not even make the date. First, he must escape the putrid tentacles of PUSTFIR, a mutated creature more hideous than anything in nature. Prepare for horror and action on an epic scale in this conclusion to the mini-series! The first two issues in this series set up the quest of anti-hero Black Zero and his quest to defeat the galactic conqueror Carnus. And the format and feel was that of a classic sci-fi pulp story. In issue three, author Tom Pinchuk turns up the overall action, drama and tragedy of the plot. Ruin takes a turn from the classic pulp outline to more of a philosophical post-modern sci-fi Kubrick tale. Black Zero first defeats the nasty living nightmare Pustfir, but can’t stop him from releasing a population destroying virus in his death throes. After watching the innocence he was supposed to protect die and reflecting on the death of the last human he encountered Zero moves off to confront Carnus. The battle between the two rocks the very core of the world with a very damaged Black Zero emerging the victor. The book ends a few months later with a healed up Zero contemplating his own purpose. Given the classic melodramatic epic feel to this story, as I read I hear Charlton Heston narrating this book throughout. The art, dramatic in nature and style matches the tone of the heavy pressure-driven story. Ruin, volume 1, ends as your classic science fiction epic; complete with flawed hero, tyrannical over-the-top villain, countless battles and an unsure future for the last being standing. And as with all good science fiction stories, I wonder if there will be a sequel?
Issue Grade: B