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Port of Earth #1

by Michael D on November 08, 2017

Writer: Zack Kaplan
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Colorist: Vladimir Popov
Publisher: Image Comics

Port of Earth imagines a world where the aliens don’t make contact with us out of peace or world domination but business? Imagine if the intergalactic equivalent of Chevron showed up at our planet with a business proposition. That’s exactly what happens here but with some bumps in the road. From the writer, Zack Kaplan, a relative comic newbie with only one other series under his belt, Eclipse.  Kaplan takes the typical first contact story and makes it fresh.

Port of Earth #1 starts off with heavy world building. We receive much of the exposition in the form of media snippets and interviews. It’s a world not unlike ours. The aliens come and ask to use the earth as a space port in exchange for alien tech. In this world, alien tech is powered by water, so earth makes sense from a business standpoint. The world slowly adjusts to the new port but eventually things go wrong. There is an incident and things only get worse. Social unrest erupts and violent acts are committed by the aliens.  A peace keeping force is created and that’s when were introduced to the main characters.

The issue is heavy on exposition and light on character but luckily, the world Kaplan introduces to us is interesting enough to keep you hooked for now. It would not be farfetched to compare this series to District 9. The story is kept grounded and the art keeps it feeling gritty. These aliens have caused civil unrest throughout the world and dominate the national media. The business angle is definitely the most interesting part of this series. These aliens aren’t here as a benevolent or even malevolent force but instead purely for profit. It makes their motives in a genre such as this a bit more ambiguous and I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeve. There are also hints of something more sinister happening, maybe corporate espionage?

Mutti’s art and Popov’s colors keep the story feeling grounded and real. There are some great panels that will bring to mind movies like Arrival. The designs of the various alien technology is fun to see and you can tell they had fun designing it.

Port of Earth #1 is a promising start to a new sci-fi Image series. If you are a fan of grounded science fiction then I highly recommend adding this series to your pullist.

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