As a break from Letter 44’s regularly scheduled plot, this one-shot takes time to deal with the back story of anthropologist/physicist Charlotte and controversial geologist Rowan. With guest art from Joëlle Jones, Charles Soule shows why these protagonists were compelled to take the essential suicide mission to the alien construction known as the chandelier.
Charles Soule per usual keeps everyone in character, adequately representative of who they’re supposed to be. Taking unorthodox approaches (or downright troubling ones) to the problems they face in their career and personal life only helps to demonstrate on a larger scale who they are, as the two leads come from different backgrounds yet come to the same conclusion as to whether or not to go.
The concern with this issue is how necessary it is to the overall narrative, as without a successful start of the next arc of the series, there is the potential for this one-shot to break the flow of storytelling. It isn’t clear whether it’s essential to know their backstory, and it’s not fully entertaining enough to warrant the break of flow to the overall plot.
The artwork brings a nice change of pace from previous issues though, providing a brighter colour palate whilst giving everyone in the book thoughts through their body language and expressions. Shock, caution and stern looks on everyone in the issue highlight how fluid the art is, perfectly suiting what needs to be shown about every characters motivations, however subtle. In this respect it’s a great shame that Joëlle Jones isn’t on the book for more than this issue.
Thankfully this issue is only a one shot, and whilst it isn’t an unpleasant issue to read by any means, unless you have the emotional investment in the characters then I wouldn’t recommend this issue for you. For those who aren’t aware of what Letter 44 entails, I suggest you see if you can pick up any back issues or wait until the trade paper-back is out. On the whole it’s a riveting read that doesn’t treat its audience like it’s in a Roland Emmerich film. For those who did enjoy the previous six issues, I’d heartily recommend that you come back for the next issue, as I’m very intrigued in where it’s going to go from this.