Port Of Earth #4 came out this week from Image/Top Cow. The series is still figuring itself out, but providing top-notch sci-fi conversation and concepts along the way.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
The horrific side of Earth’s deal with the Consortium is explored. There have been incidents in the past where aliens have found themselves on the outside of the port, and the results were gruesome. The government takes a particularly shady approach when the shit hits the fan. These interview clips have slowly and effectively shed more light on why the people of Earth are largely against the port.
We find out later that the ESA may actually be expanding the operation and adding a second port. The ESA is losing the public’s trust and grasp on the deteriorating situation with the Consortium. Writer Zack Kaplan plays at government leaks and shady dealings well. Today’s political landscape surely plays a role in why the story is so easy to get behind.
It seems like we’re trending towards the government losing control of its people as the situation continues to get worse. Perhaps what Kaplan will really give us is a fantasy world where the people are able to hold their leaders accountable. There are a couple of different directions this story could go in and they’re all intriguing.
Our two main characters are still rather bland. Everything about this world in concept and exploration has been stellar. The only thing missing is compelling characters at the center. When Rice loses his love interest, Emily, there’s little emotion felt in the pages and therefore the reader as well.
If Kaplan and company can inject some life into the cast, this series could reach a whole new level. The plot, this world being built, and the politics are laid out so well and full of detail. The only thing holding Port Of Earth back from being truly great is this lack of character.
The underwater sequence is a bit rough on the art side. It’s tough to tell what’s going on, or that we’re underwater in the first place outside of a few air bubbles. Port Of Earth utilizes a lot of gray and white in it’s art style. It gives the book an interesting visual appeal but doesn’t do it any favors underwater apparently.
Andrea Mutti and Vladimir Popov are a fine art team, even with this issue’s script limiting them to only a few locations. The more aliens and landscapes we get to see, the better. The page of horror scenes was fantastic.
There’s still plenty to explore and discover with the series, Port Of Earth is clearly still just scratching the surface. It may not be perfect, but there’s plenty to grab onto.