Letter 44: Volume 1 Escape Velocity – Charles Soule

Letter 44 Volume 1
It’s the West Wing meets 2001 a Space Odyssey. Pretty much. A new president finds out we aren’t alone in the universe and his predecessor has already sent people into space.

This has an interesting structure. We follow the president on Earth trying to undo the policies of his precursor and fighting political threats while he learns what has been going on in space. We also follow an ensemble cast of astronauts far away tasked with making contact with whatever is out there. These two differing narratives are an unusual pairing as they are kept separate and distinct. Stylistically it is an interesting choice that gives you two tales in one, particularly as each side is keeping secrets from each other.

You don’t need to know anything about either politics or space to follow along but you do get the sense everything is authentic and well researched or at least highly believable. Things aren’t overly detailed and the pace is just right to deliver all the mysteries woven into the plot. There are a lot of similarities between the Bush/ Obama change and you need to decide if this is a distraction or an anchor to reality.

The art works fine. It isn’t too showy or gimmicky but neither does it stretch itself to be particularly innovative. It is full of little touches like numbering the pages for example. Another is making the first page an in character document before you get to all the usual creative and business credits. The star of the book is the cover. It’s a foil printing of a star chart that really brings an otherworldly feel the book.

The high page count and artistic priority means you get a good feeling about this work from the smaller publisher Oni Press.

Thumbs Up!

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