I was initially worried that I wouldn’t be able to get back into Deep State very easily after missing the second issue, but fortunately I found myself enjoying this issue a lot despite being a little behind on what’s been happening in the series. This seems to be due in large part to a plot that’s relatively simplistic; an experienced veteran and a new recruit of a secret government agency investigate an alien virus that is turning people into mindless killing machines. This isn’t the most original plot to ever grace the pages of a comic-book however I can’t say it isn’t a heck of a lot of fun to read. This issue centres on the chaos unfolding in the small town on which the aforementioned alien virus has been unleashed, as Agents Harrow and Branch scramble for answers on how to stop the outbreak before it goes public. This issue hits the ground running and doesn’t let up, with the highlight undoubtedly being the gripping car chase scenes that occur about midway through the issue. These scenes are well written, and brilliantly translated onto the page by the art team of Ariela Kristantina and Ben Wilsonham. The culmination of these scenes is a double-page spread that looks phenomenal and very cinematic to the point where I felt like I was watching an awesome sci-fi movie. I put the spotlight on these pages particularly because I feel like they are a perfect representation of all the fun thrills that you get in an issue of Deep State.
That’s not to say this issue is perfect. There is some awkward dialogue here and there, and I have to say I’m still not totally sold on the two main characters. Agents Harrow and Branch are yet to be greatly fleshed out, and that leaves them feeling like the fairly basic foundations of potentially great characters. I understand that Branch is the skeptical new recruit that doesn’t fully approve of Harrow’s methods. I understand that Harrow is the toughened veteran who’s been doing the job too long to care what Branch thinks of him. But that seems to be as far as these characters go at the moment, which is a shame because it leaves them feeling a little generic. However, I don’t punish the book too harshly for this weakness as although the characters are currently not greatly developed, I see plenty of potential for future development as the series progresses.
I’ve already talked about the art team in this review, so I won’t go into too much more detail – but I just want to say one more time that I think they’re doing a great job with this book. Their style is perfect for this kind of story, and I’m really looking forward to seeing more of their work in the future.
To put it simply, Deep State is a lot of fun. This book is for people who want an action-packed sci-fi fix, one that perhaps doesn’t have the thought-provoking moments that some indie comics go for, but does have all the entertaining thrills that are present in the best summer blockbusters. It may not be perfect – the dialogue isn’t always spot-on, and the main characters still need some fleshing out – but that doesn’t stop it from being a hugely entertaining read. If you’re a sci-fi fan, you need to be reading this comic.
Writer: Justin Jordan Artist: Ariela Kristantina Colorist: Ben Wilsonham Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/14/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital