June 15, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Bento (Substitute) Review: Letter 44 Volume 2

Aliens are coming, and the United States is having a political struggle over how to deal with it behind the scenes in this fantastic series.

Why do I keep getting copies of Letter 44?

Don’t get me wrong:  it’s a great series.  But I got a free copy of the first issue during the brief period when I was subscribed to Loot Crate, and then later got, read, and reviewed my own copy of the first trade, and then this month Comic Bento sends me a copy of the first trade.  You know, the one I already have.

It’s just as well.  I was looking for a good excuse to finally read the second volume anyway.

There are basically two plots going on here.  On Earth, new president Stephen Blades is dealing with the information dumped in his lap by his predecessor that aliens are real and possibly a threat to the human race.  Wars were started on the sly to make American soldiers battle-ready while advanced weapons were invented in secret.  With war going on in two different places, Blades’ first decision is to deploy the weapons to end the wars on Earth before the aliens maybe potentially start one with the human race.  That causes grumbling from Congressmen about oversight, from Blades’ predecessor over how Blades is “ruining” American enough for that man to actually make moves to oppose his successor, and other various moments while the Obama stand-in looks more and more like Obama as the series goes on.

Meanwhile, out in space, the team that was sent to investigate the aliens actually makes contact with them.  What do they want?  And how powerful are they?

Writer Charles Soule is doing a great job here, but if I am being honest, I prefer the political stuff going on with Blades than I do the alien stuff for the time being.  That Soule thought enough about the reality of partisan politics in the event of a First Contact situation actually makes the series stand out more.

It also references Donald Trump’s book The Art of the Deal in a way that I am guessing Soule did not see coming for additional relevance when he wrote this series.

Anyway, I am still loving it.  Maybe I won’t wait so long to try another.  9.5 out of 10 blackmailed Congressmen.

NEXT MONTH:  That does it for the numbers box.  Next month’s theme is”Otherworlds,” whatever that means.