Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of his favourite one, with potential minor spoilers.
This was a big week for comics, for the first time in a long while I actually picked up nearly as many Marvel books as DC, but in the end I decided to pick Deep State #1 to review. The series is published by Boom! Studios written by Justin Jordan, illustrated by Ariela Kristantina, with colours by Ben Wilsonham and letters Ed Dukeshire.
Deep State involves conspiracy theories and the agents who work to keep the world thinking they are just that. Agent Harrow recruits Agent Branch at the beginning of the story to his shadowy and unknown organisation, a group who investigate the strange and the unbelievable to keep them a secret from the public. Harrow tells her about the truth behind the lunar landing – not that it never happened, but that it wasn’t the first time. The USSR made it there 5 years before, and they found something alive up there… but never made it back. The Americans investigated and dealt with the problem in 1969, before transmitting the famous small step and giant leap, hiding the other events from the rest of the world. However, secrets don’t have a habit of staying hidden, and the Russian capsule has made it back to Earth. Harrow and Branch investigate the crash site, but find that whatever was inside altered the craft and before breaking out. They now have to track it down before it gets to the nearest town, and do whatever it is the organisation does to keep it all under wraps.
Jordan starts a great new story here, with a mysterious Men in Black-style organisation (but serious) and genuine intrigue behind this first issue. I loved the idea that of course the lunar landing wasn’t the first, why would they televise it if they weren’t already sure they could do it? Good conspiracy theories are always the ones that are just about plausible. The two main characters are interesting in their own way, with Branch being headstrong and uncompromising even though at this stage she is the lens that the reader is experiencing this new world, and Harrow being a total enigma at this point. There isn’t much more character development past that in this first issue, but setting up the premise is more important and I assume we will get to know these two more over the next few instalments. The art from Ariela Kristantina is very impressive, looking scratchy and oppressive that really ups the horror angle of the story, especially on that last page (which reminded me a little of Vasta Nerada).
This was a strong first issue, and I can’t wait to find out more. I hope we get more information about other popular conspiracy theories and the “truths” behind them that Harrow and his organisation have covered up. The series has a sort of X-Files vibe minus the skepticism. Get on board with this first issue at your LCS or digitally.
9 Actual Moon Landings out of 10