The television interview with ESA Director Tom Rutgers continues, and the anchorwoman questions how well the ESA agents performed considering the events. She reveals the history of Agent George Rice, and we return to the scene where Rice and McIntyre continue to try to pacify the alien assassin. The ESA HQ suffers heavy damage, and Rice seems to be losing control.
Port of Earth #6 appeals to me quickly with the interview opening that hints at the events in the past of the comic, with the rest of the comic showing the actual events. It’s nice system of setup and payoff, and leaves the reader anticipating what happens next.
It’s also geopolitical-centered sci-fi dealing with the issue of migrants, borders, and the degree one can control those borders. It’s relevant while still having those crazy sci-fi elements that appeal to me.
Much of the comic is the shootout between Rice, McIntyre, and the alien. This is where the comic loses some of its strength. The shootout feels empty with little direct payoff until the end, which isn’t even the end to the situation. Sure, it shows the damage to ESA HQ and the degrading mental state of Rice, but that’s all it does. The rest is just a big and slightly confusing shootout.
The confusing part comes in the display. The paneling and sequencing muddles the cause-and-effect. Make no mistake; Andrea Mutti’s artwork is good. It’s detailed, but there is only as much line art as necessary. The ESA armor and weapons look good. The alien is a little underwhelming in design, but that’s partially because it’s left vague. Vladimir Popov is the color artist, and it’s a cold and somewhat utilitarian palette, which fits the tone of the comic well.
Port of Earth #6 is an intriguing book for the first-time reader. The political implications buried beneath an action sci-fi narrative about an alien assassin is both clever and intriguing. The execution is a little lackluster once the shootout starts to drag, but I did enjoy this comic outside of that problem. That problem isn’t enough to sink the comic either, and I can recommend it to the first-time Port of Earth reader. It explains itself well, and the story is easy to follow. Check it out.
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