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Vertigo puts out these large anthologies every so often, and I like them for several reasons. First, it’s a place to check out creators that are new to me and see if they can write a complete short story, not an easy thing. Some can’t! Second, as it’s Vertigo, there are some unusual and even experimental entries, plus usually some by long-time pros I like. Third, they’re using titles I used to read as a starting point, though when I read MYSTERY IN SPACE it was dominated by Adam Strange stories.

I lettered a six-page Michael Allred story for this comic, so I won’t cover that, but there are plenty of other entries under a fine cover by Ryan Sook.

“Verbinksy Doesn’t Appreciate It” is a nice take on the twilight-zone “loop” story that feeds back on itself by Duane Swierczynski (there’s a name to give letterers pause). The art by Ramon Bachs reminds me a bit of Sean Murphy.

“Transmission” by Andy Diggle and Davide Gianfelice is set up rather like an actual mystery in which man (or woman in this case) outwits machine. I like the stylized art.

“Asleep To See You” is more of an episode than a story, didn’t care much for it.

“Here Nor There” by Ann Nocenti and Fred Harper is a delightfully dark yet funny tale of a man, a woman, a cat and a squidlike alien with sparkling dialogue by Nocenti and pretty good art by Harper.

“The Elgort” by Nnedi Okorafor and Michael Wm. Kaluta is a delight to look at, and starts out well, but the story has no resolution, and in fact seems to be about to go further when it ends. Either that or I didn’t understand the ending.

“Breeching” by Steve Orlando and Francesco Trifogli is an interesting tale about centaur-like creatures and some sort of coming-of-age ritual battle that seems to be mostly in the minds of the combatants. Didn’t quite understand this one, but I liked it anyway.

“Contact High” by Robert Rodi and Sebastian Fiumara is about a space mission with three guys that each have a personal agenda. When one of them is contacted by telepathic beings, everything takes a new twist. Not bad.

“The Dream Pool” by Kevin McCarthy and Kyle Baker didn’t work for me. I found the very cartoony art didn’t mesh at all with the serious political/societal story.

As always with anthologies, it’s a mixed bag, but there’s lots of variety here, so you might want to give it a try. Recommended.

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