Witness A New And Alien Form Of Gaslighting In Port Of Earth #9

by James Ferguson

Six years ago, aliens came to our planet with an offer. They’d use Earth as an intergalactic space port and in exchange, we’d get new and amazing technology. If you think this deal sounds too good to be true, you’d be right. There’s always been something fishy about it and after an alien outbreak led to a city’s destruction and many human deaths, our new shiny toys are being taken away. This is why we don’t have nice things.

The conspiracy and intrigue in Port of Earth has never been larger. The status quo has been changed dramatically with the Earth Consortium practically gaslighting humanity. This issue opens up with a familiar sight as the talk show interviews continue, this time with the new liaison, Rogoro. It’s chilling to hear how he sees this situation, turning everything around on us and accepting none of the blame.

Letterer Troy Peteri uses a reddish / purplish font for Rogoro’s words, placed within scraggly balloons. This adds to the unnatural appearance of the alien. He’s unsettling all around. It’s odd to see his dialogue come out of a sickeningly sweet facial expression.

There is some evidence that the Consortium is making some additional moves behind the scenes as a strange disease is starting to ravage Earth’s population. Wouldn’t all of the Consortium’s problems go away if they didn’t have to deal with these pesky humans? Of course, this isn’t said outright. Writer Zack Kaplan lets us connect the dots, leading us through this riveting thriller.

We get a look at even more alien races in Port of Earth #9. I was already impressed with artist Andrea Mutti’s work on this series, but this issue blew my socks off. The designs for these creatures are nothing short of incredible. I was going to say “out of this world” there but stopped myself. In any case, Mutti fills the pages with an amazing amount of detailed line work.

Although their facial features are entirely foreign and some are completely non-existent, you get the feeling that these beings have a holier-than-thou attitude. It’s like they’re tolerating humanity and clearly looking down their noses – or whatever passes for noses – at us.

ESA Agents Rice and McIntyre are back as well, although in very different circumstances. Gone are their snazzy uniforms and hardware. It’s been replaced with grit and scraps. Colorist Jordan Boyd plays this up considerably, showing how far these two have fallen. I love the juxtaposition between the scenes with the human characters and those with the aliens. One is beat up and practically decrepit while the other fits the standard definition of science fiction. This really drives home the strange relationship between the two forces. For all the good the Consortium has done, humanity still hasn’t risen to the stars.

Port of Earth was already a solid sci-fi thriller. This issue ups the ante as the series enters its next story arc. The cards are shuffled around and characters are put in new and interesting positions. Some have been pushed so far that it’s only a matter of time before they snap. If you weren’t hooked on Port of Earth before, you will be after reading this issue.

Port of Earth #9 from Image Comics and Top Cow Productions is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: