Port Of Earth, the striking new sci-fi series from Top Cow and Image Comics, begins this week. Here’s an early review of the first installment by Zack Kaplan, Andrea Mutti, and Vladimir Popov.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
In the near future a group of aliens called the Consortium makes a deal with Earth. Their ships are powered by water and they want to use our planet as a port, and our oceans as a fuel resource. In return, humans get the technology that utilizes water as power to solve our energy crisis. As the deal grows older it begins to deteriorate, rules are broken and humans begin to conflict with the visiting aliens.
A police force is created, using limited alien technology to avoid conflict in non-lethal ways. Rice and McIntyre are two ESA (Earth Security Agents) officers having their day recorded by camera drones for the public to see. While investigating a call, the two stumble upon an uninvited guest to Earth.
Port Of Earth sets up this fascinating world in no time at all. There’s a lot of information to ingest, delivered in an easily digestible historical recap. Writer Zack Kaplan created this complicated affair and then simplified it enough for readers to quickly get a handle on it.
Our two main characters immediately humanize the situation from the side of law enforcement. Most of the setup is from the media and public’s perspective, getting a look at this mess from the side of authority is a valuable angle. The politics and concerns are all real, it’s no stretch at all to imagine this is how our world would respond to becoming a fueling port for alien visitors.
It scratches a similar itch to that of District 9, introducing an alien presence to everyday human life. Seeing how the people of Earth respond and react to this new norm and the impact it has on society. Every section of this introductory issue is executed flawlessly. We’re clearly just scratching the surface and there’s plenty of excitement around the corner as this scenario continues to deteriorate even further.
Andrea Mutti draws some spectacular aliens. Even with limited face-time, we’re shown there are clearly a lot of different species throughout the galaxy. Each one is uniquely crafted, this will undoubtedly be a highlight of the series going forward.
Vladimir Popov utilizes a lot of gray and drenches this book in a dark atmosphere. Tensions are high, people are unsure, and the color scheme sets the tone perfectly. Mutti and Popov quickly establish themselves as an artistic powerhouse.
Port Of Earth has nothing but promise, this could potentially be a top sci-fi comic book by the end of the first arc. Even without much action, this issue immerses readers into a world they can buy into immediately and a mystery they’ll want to see unravel.