Issue: Letter 44 #4
Name: Escape Velocity Chapter 4
Published: 2014 by Oni Press
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque
Colorist: Dan Jackson
Letterer: Shawn DePasquale
The Good: President Stephen Blades, Isobel Blades, Elijah Green, Dr. Pritchard, Major Drum, Doctor Montgomery, Kyoko, Manesh, Gomez, Special Agent Cornish
The Bad: Former President Carroll, Brian Michter
The Undecided: Aliens
We start off this issue with the former President Carroll making it clear to GNN and the American people that he’s still around but has decided to let the current President do his thing. The funny thing is, he sent in a tape to say he thinks the current administration is doing well, he didn’t go on live television. It’s kinda like he’s behaving like Bin Laden or something – at least that’s what the First Lady thinks. And as we pull back to see the President getting ready for the day, we learn that Elijah, the Chief of Staff, had a stroke (in the last issue). We also learn how ruthless the First Lady can be. Isobel points out that Elijah was just a tool for the President to use, just as she’s a tool – she just works on a different type of problem, those more delicate.
We head out to space next, onboard the Clarke where preparations are underway to head to the asteroid the aliens have been interacting with. Dr. Pritchard, Sergeant Gomez, and Major Drum are planning on taking a smaller craft – the Bowman – out to the asteroid and back, to see what the aliens have been up to. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s wearing all kinds of lead to try to keep the solar radiation from her very large belly. As the Bownam approaches the asteroid, we head back to Earth.
Where President Blades is (surprisingly) asking the Secretary of Defense, Brian Michter, who had served in the previous administration to take over as Chief of Staff. Considering he’s one of the few who know the deatils about the aliens and Project Monolith (the U.S. answer to the aliens), I suppose it makes a sort of sense. In any case, he looks like the cat who just ate the canary as he saunters into his new office.
We then get a scene with Elijah and he’s not looking so hot. The doctor on duty, Dr. Montgomery, however notices the injection point for the needle in the last issue.
Something is up so he calls the White House and gets…Michter, the new Chief of Staff. This is clearly not a natural stroke and the President needs to know immediately, so Michter heads to the hospital. The doctor confirms that Elijah is probably never gonna wake up or be the same and also that he’s the only one who knows about the injection mark (Goodbye doctor).
Back on the Clarke, Manesh is trying to make some time with Kyoko since there’s only 2 women on board and one’s pregnant. But as they set up the date, Charlotte’s water breaks and they’re about to have a new crew member.
On the Bowman, they arrive at the asteroid and actually see there’s a way to go inside so they head in. Drum stays on the Bowman, but Pritchard and Gomez go EVA to see what they can find out. What they find is a perfectly cylindrical tunnel into the asteroid – obviously something humanity can’t do yet.
We head to FBI Headquarters in DC where Special Agent Cornish is passing on a file to a director who calls the President and indicates they found “him”.
Back to the asteroid and Pritchard and Gomez approach a shimmering light and while thier tethers wont let them get any closer, Pritchard takes his off and dives right in. They touch the light and…
We’re back in DC with the President and Michter in a limo and they get a call that Elijah is awake and wants to speak with the President. When they get to Walter Reed, Dr. Montgomery is nowhere to be found but the doctor on station lets the President in where Elijah writes that it was not a stroke. He also said the doctor told Michter about the attack and asked in Michter told Blades…Not at all. Obviously Michter has some agenda that is contrary to the sitting President.
Finally, we return to the asteroid where Gomez and Pritchard are in a forest with mountains and a river flowing through it. And we see some pyramidal-cylindrical rainbow objects that I think just might be the aliens.
What did I learn:
- Michter is not working for the President even though he was just promoted to Chief of Staff.
- Something happened to Dr. Montgomery after he told Michter about the attack.
- Pritchard is impulsive and should not be trusted to follow guidelines for first contact.
- Manesh’s sexual frustrations may have an impact down the road.
- The FBI is on to something that I think will prove interesting as soon as next issue.
- Former President Carroll is up to something since he chose this point to re-emerge onto the global stage.
So far, this series has been going a a pretty quick pace…much quicker than my reading or reviews have been coming, but it’s a fun title.
Soule covers a lot of ground in this issue and we learn a lot. So much so, I feel I ran on a bit in my description of what happened. In any case, we now have seen the aliens and the President knows Elijah was attacked, both of which are gonna be important as the story unfolds, I’m sure.
With the speed of this issue and the story overall, I could definitely see this as a movie or even a Game of Thrones style television show. 4 issues in and I’m loving it.
My Rating: B+
This comic can be found on Comixology or at your local comic book shop.