Letter 44 #2 Review

by @DocBenway on Nov 28, 2013

Who cares about socialized health care or a couple of pesky wars in the Middle East when aliens are building something in the asteroid belt?

The Good

The premise of this new Oni Press series is pretty interesting. In the first issue, President-elect Blades gets sworn into office and reads a letter left for him by his predecessor. It turns out that, contrary to popular belief, the prior leader of the free world wasn’t pile driving the country into the gutter for the heck of it. He was secretly funding a massive government agency to figure out what’s up with the aliens that have set up camp in the asteroid belt. Not a bad idea for a book at all. This issue picks up as Blades tries to balance his interest in the top secret alien threat with the more public, and by comparison, more pedestrian elements of his job. Simultaneously, things start getting weird for the crew of the Clarke as they encounter some odd physics, take guesses at who’s the baby-daddy, and get closer to the new neighbors in the solar system. Plenty there to pick up on in issue #3 and I’m looking forward to it.

The Not So Good

Charles Soule is a solid writer and a really, really smart guy. If you don’t believe me, go read ‘Strange Attractors’ and tell me if you ever thought about New York City vis a vie chaos theory mathematics. Pretty heady stuff and a great read. He’s also a lawyer with a degree from Columbia who works on immigration cases. I’m really looking forward to seeing if and how that experience plays into an alien invasion story. This is all good and promising, but I think Mr. Soule relies a bit too much on dialog to relate this story which really slows the pace of the book. I blame this, in part, on the art. Alberto Alburquerque’s work is adequate. Soule needs more than adequate so we can see more of the story and read less. It takes someone like Greg Scott (who illustrated ‘Strange Attractors’) who can operate at Soule’s level be a true partner in the telling of a complex tale with images rather than just words. That’s what this book needs to make it great. Here’s hoping that Alburquerque can step it up.

The Bottom Line

I wish we got a bit further into the story in this issue than we did. The premise is interesting enough to keep this in my read pile for a couple more issues, but something’s got to happen to make this a bit more buzz-worthy and to help it live up to it’s potential.

3.7 / 5
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Letter 44 #2
Released November 27, 2013
Writer Charles Soule
Artist Alberto Alburquerque
Cover Artist Alberto Alburquerque

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