From Vertigo Comics, Paul Cornell, Ryan Kelly, Giulia Brusco, Sal Cipriano, Mark Doyle, and Will Dennis
The tale of Governor Arcadia Alvarado, and her bid for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, begins a new arc in issue #8. The main story took a bit of a back seat in the last two issues, as one-shots deepened the mythology of the series (#6), as well as opened up new avenues and organizations to deepen the story(#7). In issue #6, a critical scene involving a woman being visited by Men in Black plays a vital part in this issue, and when Governor Alvarado is concerned, her anonymity in this matter may not be as solid as initially thought.
Saucer Country #8 opens up with the Governor in a mock debate, as she prepares for the real thing against her opponent, Senator James Kersey. As the comic progresses, we’re treated to a myriad of POVs, an aesthetic that was established in earlier issues, but is pushed to the forefront of this issue. As Arcadia prepares for the debates, Professor Kidd is off interviewing Mrs. Bates, gathering information of her alien encounters and her visit from the MIB.
Michael’s sanity is explored here as well, and the parallel panels of his experiences and the Governors offer up a nice unifying aspect, exposing just how much these issues weigh on them. One is certainly taking it better than the other, but in terms of Michael’s loyalty, its unwavering for Arcadia. Despite all the shit they put Michael through, with the abductions and the “campaign approved bars,” he’s turned into one of my favorite characters. You feel the weight, and the fact that he hasn’t completely snapped from it all is moving, all the while as it just frightens the shit out of you.
Astelle Johnson starts to make some moves in this issue as well, as she attempts to book a meeting with Professor Kidd using the secret password, “Mork and Mindy.” Its only a minor appearance, but this issue, as well as the comic in general, does a spectacular job of putting the pieces in motion in the right increments at the proper time. Another minor chracter; Dr. Glass’ portion, involves a meeting with a man who has been behind enemy lines so to speak, and is prepared to blow the lid on a lot of things. Since his failure with the Governor in issue #5, a myriad of opportunity has been offered to Dr. Glass, and its intriguing to see where his character will fit into all this when all is said and done.
The final set of panels offer up the series most shocking development, since Professor Kidd’s claim that abductions may not be what we seem. No spoiler as to what it is here, but its effectiveness through a television screen gives it this surreal element of shock. Even as I read it, it hit me. I will say that Arcadia’s campaign just got bumpy and a lot hangs in the balance. On the flip side of the coin though, this could be used as an event to sway voters. She is down in the polls and perhaps this singular event is that bump she needs.
This book wears a myriad of hats; its intelligent, its fun, it takes a real human/alien based mythology and puts the most unique spins on it. I’m interested to see if Reptilians play a role in the future, but I’m not holding my breath. The accessibility of this book is a nice feature to extraterrestrial mythology. We’re living in a 2012 world, full of uncertainty, making Saucer Country that much more desirable and important. How it unfurls is just a joy to watch, it always keeps me thinking. That’s why I love this book and that’s why its the best new comic book of 2012.