Independence Day #3: The Challenging Deep
Story by: Victor Gischler
Art by: Alex Shibao
Release date: May 18
Tensions are bad enough at sea level, it’s even worse at the bottom of the ocean. Independence Day #3, is an ode to human ingenuity. Captain Adams is having a hard enough time fighting his fear of water, he’s also having to fight sinking morale, and uninvited guest. Our alien stowaways have begun acting in an unusual manner, and it has the crew scratching their heads. After escaping the submerged vessel once, the current circumstances merit another visit.
This is one of my favorite ongoing series currently. The large part of this is due to Victor Gischler’s story he’s unraveling in every issue. In the first couple of issues there were characters to introduce and settings to explain to the reader. Victor has room to stretch in this issue; he’s able to flesh out the story. Victor zooms in on Captain Adam’s tortured psyche, you see the knots loosening in his mind. I mentioned in my first review of Independence Day #1, that my favorite heroes had flaws, like Captain America not fitting in modern society or Speedy with substance abuse. Victor balances Adam’s anxiety well, he shows Adam pulling himself together and focusing on the mission. Gischler exposes more of the crew in some candid moments.
The analogies between the sea and outer space are too numerous to mention, and I can’t help but think Victor is playing to that. I like the grittiness he gives this story, which is what made Alien such a great movie. He shows the crew’s isolation in that submarine, and the total lack of information they have regarding to their homes after the war. You see that the crew’s only escape from the terrible unknowns of life on their surface, is the unbearable mission ahead of them. Victor weaves the reader into the story beautifully, he’s able to connect the reader emotionally.
Hats off to Alex Shibao with the art. I’m not sure what happened to the other artist from the previous two issues. Shibao’s close ups are fantastic. Shibao is a great compliment to Victor’s writing. Some things just cannot be written. Like I was saying before, these close ups that he does are really heavy. They sink you into the same depths that the crews are in. My favorite panel though belongs to Captain Adams talking to Captain Meredith. Adams says out loud that he has to go back into that alien ship, and the way the shadows castes over his eyes. Shibao shows you just how much Adams hates the whole situation that he’s in. Alex has plays the heart strings awfully well in this issue.
Alex and Victor pulled off my favorite issue so far out of this arc. I get nervous every Wednesday comes out that I’m going to get a hold of a bad comic book. Luckily we have a great ensemble of creators at the helm.