Series: Starship Down
Publisher: Dark Horse
Published: March 18, 2020
Words: Justin Giampaoli
Art: Andrea Mutti
Colors: Vladimir Popov
Publisher’s Summary: Mankind discovers its startling origin! A cultural anthropologist consults with US Naval Intelligence to investigate the discovery of an extraterrestrial ship buried under the ice for thousands of years in Siberia. The meddling Russians, Vatican officials, the international media spotlight, and her own insecurities all threaten her efforts to keep the fabric of society from crumbling. A brand-new thriller with blistering art from Andrea Mutti.
Set in the frozen reaches of Siberia, Starship Down sets the stage for the apparent discovery of the millenium, an extraterrestrial ship buried deep beneath the ice. The story begins with the introduction of our protagonist, cultural anthropologist Dr. Jocelyn Young. She presumes she being brought in to verify some cave paintings but realizes quickly this is something else. Reading Starship Down had me fondly remembering a number of movies including The Thing, Prometheus, and X-Files. While this comic is not any of those exactly, they all had a sense of mystery and anticipation that permeates Starship Down. The writing is smart and to the point. Little time is wasted on needless exposition and the characters are written as if they belong there; intelligent individuals who actually belong at a scientific discovery of this magnitude. This builds a serious tone that is much appreciated. Much of the remainder of the issue sets the stage as to what truly is beneath the ice with an intriguing cliff hanger reveal at the end. One can imagine how future issues are going to slowly peel back the layers of this mystery, issue by issue, as we learn more about our visitors from the stars.
The artwork and colors of Andrea Mutti and Vladimir Popov were exemplary. Characters, backgrounds and movements all demonstrated realism and detail. Each panel and page worked in perfect unison with the story that I was reading. Of particular note was the use of blacks in the shading throughout the issue. It added a bleakness and darkness that I imagine being in the middle of the Siberian wasteland would incur.
If you are hankering for a modern day sci-fi mystery that is smartly written, expertly illustrated, and ignites a spark of intrigue for future issues then Starship Down is a must-read.