Hints Of A Vast Conspiracy Unfold In Port Of Earth #4

by James Ferguson

Earth Security Agents Rice and McIntyre are closing in on an alien that has escaped from the nearby space port. Tensions are high as the creature has already hurt and killed others as it fled. Armed with an advanced alien rifle, McIntyre is ready to put this alien down once and for all. Meanwhile, his partner, Rice struggles to reason with him to do this by the book. To make matters worse, there are a number of civilians in close vicinity that are in danger if a fire fight were to break out.

This is a very suspenseful and creepy issue of Port of Earth. The alien is lurking in the shadows, always one step ahead of Rice and McIntyre. You will occasionally see it poking its head out from around a corner or its long limbs hanging from the ceiling ahead. This heightens the tension considerably as we still don’t know what this alien is capable of or what its motives are.
Artist Andrea Mutti’s signature gritty style works well here. Coupled with Vladimir Popov’s colors, the images create a moody atmosphere akin to the best sci-fi thrillers. You’ve got a cramped space, nervous human soldiers, and an unknown alien entity. That’s a recipe for some great storytelling.

Mutti’s attention to detail is superb with some incredible design work. The intricate lines reinforce the futuristic feel, while also still grounding it in reality. This is science fiction, but not that far ahead. Humanity isn’t soaring through the stars just yet, but we’ve got laser weapons and some advanced technology. It’s like the tone of Star Wars, advanced, but not really space age.
Much of the climactic final battle is presented without dialogue, letting the actions speak for themselves. It’s an epic scene as the guns start firing and energy blasts are flying left and right like a Dragon Ball Z episode. As a reminder, we don’t know exactly what this alien can do, so Ryan and McIntyre are learning it at the same time we do, much to their dismay.

As with previous issues, the street level action is framed by a television interview as journalist Julia Campbell speaks with the head of the ESA, Tom Rutgers. This has served as the background exposition for the series, always delivering some riveting history and putting the story in context. As with most great sci-fi, there are strong parallels with present day themes. Showing them through the lens of the story forces you to look at them from a different perspective.
There are some major hints to a larger conspiracy at play in Port of Earth. I am very intrigued by this. Writer Zack Kaplan has laid out such an interesting world with so many possibilities. It’s a grim landscape where a select few are profiting from super advanced technology provided by aliens. Could rich people really sell out the human race for more money? The idea is not that far off from reality, which is rather chilling.

The creators of Port of Earth have done their homework. This may be a futuristic story with aliens and spaceships, but it is grounded in reality. It feels like we’ve only scratched the surface of what the comic entails. There is so much left to explore. That feeling of excitement is tough to capture and Port of Earth has it in spades.
Port of Earth #4 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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