PORT OF EARTH #1
When aliens arrive on planet Earth will they come in Peace or will they be hostile? PORT OF EARTH #1 from Image Comics poses the question, what if they come in search of profit? Zack Kaplam and Andrea Mutti have come up with a brilliant twist of first contact stories. There are so many movies, TV shows, and books about invading aliens or benevolent beings from another world but what if they just wanted to make contact to set up a deep space refueling station off the coast of California? That is exactly the situation PORT OF EARTH #1 posits as well as all the ramifications that come with it. The first alien attack on human soil was not long to follow and with that came the truth, that even in space there are corrupt corporations with ulterior motives and local politicians willing to do their dirty work all for a nice pay out.
There is nothing I love more than to open a new comic series and be hit with a new idea right out of the gate. PORT OF EARTH #1 does exactly that. The closest thing I can relate it to is the movie District 9, another instance of local politics being viewed through the lens of science fiction. This time instead of refugees Zack Kaplan is looking at fossil fuel providers and paid for politicians via a science fiction narrative. It a great idea and an ideal setting for an ongoing title. There are so many stories to be told from within this frame work and I cannot wait to see where they take us. The writing is sharp and the script is grounded in the dark and disturbing dialogue of our times. Half truths abound and nowhere seems to be safe from a slightly misleading story or a pay off that has been swept under the run. The alien business consortium feels like Halliburton and Earth is Iraq in the mid 2000’s. They don’t care how we run our local backwater pit stop they just want it run quietly with few questions asked and no hard to come to their clients. They are here for the money, nothing else. Its brutal and true and very eye opening to see it from that perspective.
The art from Andrea Mutti is really strong with some creative alien designs that are similar enough to what science fiction consumers are used to while still being unique enough to feel like its own universe. The art is portrayed in a style that feels like shaky cam footage, as if the panels are viewed via video taken from a cell phone. That combined with a very subdued color pallet work to create a rather dreary setting with matches the tone of this tale about cosmic corporations who few humanity as nothing more than pests that inhabit their gas station. I like this book a lot and will continue to pick it up for sure and I think any other fans of science fiction looking for something slightly more grounded and close to home will enjoy it as well. It is out highlighted indie book of the week so you cannot miss it when you walk through the front door.