Oni Press 2014
Written by Charles Soule
Illustrated by Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque
Coloured by Dan Jackson
Since the books first issue we’ve been treated to all kinds of behavior from people, from the current President of the United States and the man he took over from to NASA and the crew of the Clarke. Now things have changed dramatically as the general population of Earth has been told what President Blades knows and it’s torn the world asunder. This is a case where instead of uniting the planet in a common goal of preparing for the aliens arrival it’s caused rifts in friendly governments and caused an all war on Earth.
Expect the unexpected is rather good advice here because nothing is what it seems in this series. Just when you think you may know what direction things are headed Charles manages to say hmm so this is what you’ll expect so i’m going in this direction instead and completely throw you off balance. It manages to really frustrate and captivate readers at the same time because suddenly you look for more clues and you continually think he’s going keep doing the same thing but he keeps mixing things up. Effectively he’s kept us on our toes and is weaving an epic science fiction tale.
So we open this issue amid World War III and as if that wasn’t shocking enough wait till you see who it is the American’s are fighting! While yes the military and portions of the government have been building new and improved weapons capable of defending the Earth if the aliens prove to be hostile now we’re seeing them in use against each other and it’s kind of horrifying and yet when you sit back from it you begin to understand why it’s happening. I’m not sure which is worse understanding human nature so that we’d fight each other, throw blame and accusations rather than banding together of the imminent threat from outer space knowing we aren’t alone.
With the crew of the Clarke and Astra working with the builders and what they are going through as well as what the former President is trying to accomplish keep the book interesting and completely fresh and original. How Ms. Jameson and the talk she has with the President will play out remains to be seen because while this is “off the record” there is an ulterior motive here not only in choosing her but for him to get this story off his chest that remains a mystery at this time. Going back to seeing Andy Howlett finding that the Builder’s are there in the first place was nice piece of backstory.
Not everyone on the crew of the Clarke is happy to be working with the Builder’s. Plus what they have learned and are continuing to learn is pretty much amazing to witness. Charlotte misses spending so much time with her daughter but Astra’s life was saved by the Builders and everything we see here is going to change the game for them.
The writing here is superb Charles has taken this concept, story and his ability as a writer to create something epic that goes beyond science fiction and human survival and infused that with such human emotions and needs that expand the mind of the reader. Along with incredible interior artwork this series continues to be a shining example of why we love comics.