-This article was possible due to the gift of a review copy, QWERTY, and rolling natural 20s.
Guest Writer: Ernie Laurence
Writer – Zack Kaplan
Artist – Andrea Mutti
Colorist – Vladimir Popov
Letterer – Troy Peteri
Editor – Elena Salcedo
“I’m not afraid of monsters.”
Keeping to form, the comic opens with a continuation of the interview with Tom Rutgers. He is asked a major economic impact question and blows it off pretty hard. Then the view shifts back to Rice and McIntyre regrouping with the rest of the field agents as they chase down the alien. Rice’s girlfriend, a doctor specializing in human encounters with the aliens, is at a local factory working on the new water engine technology where the alien has fled to. During the hunt for the alien, we learn a bit more about Rice and come to lose all respect for McIntyre who is a hothead itching for a fight with the aliens.
I love the economic impact question and the way it is set up here to show that a virtual leap in technology has unintended consequences for those in older versions of the technology. Just today I was having the same argument about the government and lobbyists artificially forcing ‘clean energy’ sources over carbon-based stuff and the unintended consequences of manipulating the market before the tech is market ready. Lots of science nerd stuff that fit perfectly with this comic issue.
We also get to see several bits of alien-related tech like the shots the agents receive and the new alien gun they are only supposed to bring out as a last resort. At the end of the comic the tech files give us some insight into the alien ships shown in previous frames and comics.
The art continues with the same pattern of clean interview room, versus a grungy world. Not great, but consistent.
We still get a sense that something is not right, but the whole of the third comic is character building so we still have to wait for the big reveal.
We learn little more about Eric McIntyre who is still the hothead alien hater pushing a confrontation. With the cameras, he is obviously a plant or at least selected for his beliefs to provoke a confrontation with the Consortium on camera. It is said they are not live, but we don’t actually know this to be the case.
Rice has a lot more character revealed as well as part of his past which explains it. He is cool under pressure, rock solid in his control. One of the few things that I would consider a negative about him is that he covers for Eric when he should have turned him in. Otherwise, Rice is my favorite character of the series right now. Tom Rutgers is a close second.
Rating – PG
There is nothing visual or story-wise that is too disturbing for pre-teens. The art is abstract enough that we don’t see anything overtly scary and nothing dies or gets eaten. It will definitely be over the head of most those below young adult.
Still worldbuilding and character building this issue, but there is definitely hints…subtle hints, that all is not as it seems on the surface. Looking forward to issue 4.