A Showdown With An Alien Threat In Port Of Earth #8

by James Ferguson

ESA Agents Rice and McIntyre have gone where no human has gone before: inside the space port. This has revealed a startling array of alien eco-systems as they hunt down a terrorist from another planet. All is not what it seems though as they enter a standoff of immeasurable proportions. Will they blow this place to kingdom come? Or will they uncover a vast conspiracy?

Each issue of Port of Earth has opened with pieces of a TV interview of ESA Director Tom Rutgers. This has been revealed to happen after the events of Rice and McIntyre’s current mission and for the first time, the interview cuts to footage from the drones that have been following the agents around. It’s used as evidence for the reporter to hammer home some hard-hitting questions.
Director Rutgers keeps his cool for the most part, but he’s backed into a corner. I can only imagine what this would be like watching it on live TV as this man who holds all kinds of secrets is forced to share some privileged information.

You never see Rutgers’ eyes. They’re always obscured by the glare of his glasses. This makes him appear even more uncaring and emotionless as he goes through the interview. This man does not care about you or the people the port has affected. Artist Andrea Mutti gets that point across perfectly.
There are some startling revelations in this interview. What makes them really hit hard is how close they come to modern day politics. While we haven’t been visited by an alien race looking to make a space port on Earth, you can see how a capitalist society would embrace such an idea if given the opportunity and the access to new technology. This elevates Port of Earth as a whole and makes it a very chilling read.

I’ve only really talked about this interview so far, which represents a small portion of the overall issue. The rest of it deals with Rice and McIntyre’s tense showdown with an alien force. It’s clear by now that these creatures are trying to reveal the true motive behind the space port and show that the mysterious Consortium that runs it is not on the level. Rice is having trouble seeing this, as he’s blinded by rage and the quest for revenge after one of these aliens killed his girlfriend.
The agents are armed with futuristic weaponry, and I’m not sure they fully understand how it works or what its capable of. This adds to the tension of the scene as the guns glow with a haunting energy. Colorist Vladimir Popov gives these blasts an overpowering glow that practically makes you squint when looking at the page. They’re amplified by letterer Troy Peteri’s sound effects that fill the page with a massive “THOOOM.”

Port of Earth #8 builds to an incredible ending that will leave your jaw on the floor. This book blends genres together, mixing science fiction with action, drama, and thriller to create this powerhouse of a story. Writer Zack Kaplan is crafting a chilling look at the near future which might just spell out humanity’s doom.
Port of Earth #8 from Image Comics and Top Cow Productions is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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