Comic Review: Letter 44 Volume 1

I was briefly subscribed to Loot Crate not that long ago, and one of the items in a box one month was a code for a digital copy of the first issue of the Oni Press comic book series Letter 44.  I quite liked it.  Then I learned it wasn’t a preview issue and the series had been running for a while.  Heck, Ryan was a fan.

Well, now I’ve read the first full trade.  Did it hold up over six issues?

Actually, the first issue may have been the weakest of the trade, and it was still a good first issue.

To recap, newly elected 44th president Stephen Blades seems like a hope-and-change kind of guy.  He knows he’s inherited a couple wars in the Middle East, as well as a bad economy.  Man, that sounds a little familiar somehow…

At any rate, outgoing president Francis T. Carroll left the customary letter from the outgoing president to the incoming one, and Carroll drops a bombshell in there:  the reasons for the wars was to create battle-tested soldiers.  Why?  Carroll and a small group of people within the American government learned there were aliens up to…something in the asteroid belt.  No one was sure what.  They just assumed it was for hostile reasons.

As a result, Carroll sent a top secret spacecraft full of scientists and soldiers to look into it.

What follows is a two layer story.  On Earth, Blades is dealing with the repercussions, especially as he’d prefer to level with the public and tell them what was up, but someone seems to be out to get him and his people.  Out in space, the crew of the Clarke are looking to figure out what the heck the aliens have built, what they want, and if and how they can communicate with them.

By the volume’s end, Blades seems a bit more sure of himself, and the Clarke made some preliminary discoveries, but so far, this is all the beginning of whatever writer Charles Soule has in mind.  I can’t say I’m a fan of the artwork, but the story is great so far.  Nine and a half rainbow storage devices out of ten.  I don’t know when I will get to the next trade, but I’m glad I read this one.

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