Zack Kaplan’s Sci-Fi series is a tale of what would happen if aliens came to Earth, not to conquer, but to do business. However, in the aftermath of Issue #1, it starts to feel less like a meeting of equals, and more like Earth being forced into a bad deal to avert greater consequences. I love the historical parallels.
The cover of this issue features the port, giant and sterile looking. It is immense, and all silvery metal. Multiple alien ships are flying around, going to and coming from the port. In the distant background one can see the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s clear from the get go where the port is located, and I think it’s great that the cover helps establish the setting.
Andrea Mutti handles the artistic duties on this issue, and the futuristic elements he adds to the port are fantastic. He also creates a great feeling of tension as Rice and McIntyre pursue the alien that has managed to get off the port to the mainland. This is done through the use of darker colours, and a grainier and indistinct imagery. There are a few times when we the reader are confused as to whether we can see the alien or not, which does a great job of putting us in the same shoes as our protagonists. The art is really just a great fit for the story.
This issue picks up immediately in the aftermath of Issue #1. Like the debut issue, it begins with a television interview with the head of the ESA, which isn’t exactly reassuring. Next, we find Rice and McIntyre are in pursuit of the alien, television drones still recording them. The search is really well done, with the story and art working hand in hand to ratchet up the tension until the alien is revealed.
The I really enjoyed the characterization as they began to grow from last issue. McIntyre is the hothead of the two, and comes from a family that lost everything when the energy industry collapsed. Rice seems more by the book, having to pull his partner back. The two work well together, and though it feels like a bit of a buddy cop trope, the characters don’t succumb to it. While the alien gets away, the two of them regroup and await backup. It’s at this time that a Consortium ship arrives to meet with the ESA. It’s clear that something bigger is on the horizon…
If you want to read a really thought provoking and well written Sci-Fi book, this series is for you. Trades of the first two arcs are available now, and Zack Kaplan is easily one of the best new writers in comics today. Check it out!