Oni Press 2014
Written by Charles Soule
Illustrated by Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque
Coloured by Dan Jackson
Despite being less than a year old, Astra has gained the ability to speak in full sentences. The rest of the Clarke crew, having had no communication with Earth, finds out about World War III. Meanwhile, Carroll leads the United Kingdom, Russia, and Germany against the United States, and is slowly revealing the history of Project Monolith to a reporter named Sonja Jameson.
Well whoever said that the sophomore year tended to be a slump never read Charles’ books because this man is throwing things at us at such a pace it’s almost whiplash level. No longer are we just focusing on secrets but the ramifications of the secrets that have been held all this time since the proverbial cat is out of the bag. Everything seems to be going at such a breakneck speed it’s really kind of thrilling how fast it’s all going as if suddenly you feel like the adventure is gearing up for something huge.
Carroll’s opening is a flashback while he’s talking to Sonja and what hits you immediately is the artwork. There really is something special and powerful about him, his face and the way his hair is that is striking and attention grabbing. As a matter of fact throughout the entire issue we see Alberto and Dan just delivering their all on every page almost as if they’ve found these reserves for their work that ramp up what we see just as the story is ramping up the synergy here is remarkable to witness. I mean from the enthusiastic start to seeing him drain of energy making him look older and almost defeated speaks volumes.
Meanwhile on the Chandelier we see Astra and Charlotte having a very surprising and somewhat disturbing conversation. Astra has so much information inside her little head and knows more than she realizes but at the same time she’s a baby and things like her feet fascinate her and her attention span is incredibly small. There’s something inherently creepy about this whole thing but in the best possible way as Astra being as young and impressionable and able to learn from the aliens more so than our developed and closed adult minds are make for things we’d normally find impossible.
While Stephen and his wife talk about former President Carroll organizing the Free Earth Alliance, which honestly he should have been doing since revealing the truth about what’s really happening he feels attacked and he should. Instead of unifying the world he’s trying to make the world the United States. His spotlight this issue was unexpected and mainly because of wife’s actions. Though I have to say I did gain a little more respect for him though for the wrong reasons lol. The characterization is outstanding and the way we get to see into their lives is masterfully done by Charles.
What started out as one thing has been morphing into something else and as each issue comes out and we learn more and more I keep getting swept up in the excitement and the possibilities of what’s happening. This is unlike any science fiction space story you’ve read and that is impressive.