GLX reviews Robert Venditti and Mike Huddleston's The Homeland Directive.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Writer - Robert Venditti
Artist - Mike Huddleston
As head of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, Dr. Laura Regan is one of the world's foremost authorities on viral and bacteriological study. Having dedicated her career to halting the spread of infectious disease, she has always considered herself one of the good guys. But when her research partner is murdered and Laura is blamed for the crime, she finds herself at the heart of a vast and deadly conspiracy. Aided by three rogue federal agents who believe the government is behind the frame-up, Laura must evade law enforcement, mercenaries, and a team of cyber-detectives who know more about her life than she does - all while trying to expose a sinister plot that will impact the lives of every American. Set in the Orwellian present, The Homeland Directive is a modern-day political/medical thriller from Robert Venditti (creator & writer of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel The Surrogates).
The world is a scary place.
With the war on terror and various other nasty things striking fear into the hearts of benign people, the powers-that-be tend to take action because "Something must be done!" While the goal of protecting innocent people is noble, there tends to be a constant conflict between interests in personal liberty and national security. How far is too far? The Homeland Directive tackles these concerns within its pages and does a solid job at it - for the most part.
If you are looking for heavy character development, then look elsewhere. Does that mean the characters are dull? No, but it does mean that they lack the depth needed for them to become powerful characters on their own. The characters themselves seem to be cut from familiar cloths. There is the benign doctor, the cold federal agent and the intelligent yet awkward nerd (among other character types).
The meat of the script comes from the plot. Robert Venditti does a great job of keeping the action and suspense going. Every plot point, ranging from organizations to plans, works naturally. What really makes it a gripping script is that the disturbing parts of the story come from the use of technology. It is a bit nerve-racking to think of all of the ways that one's personal information can be acquired. The way that the story's events unfold really gives one pause as they soak in the plight of the tale's heroes.
What really makes The Homeland Directive so great is Mike Huddleston's art. Huddleston pulls no punches in order to lure the reader into the story. He uses markers, inks, photos and even graphing paper to set the mood. These various tools are used in ways that defy the traditional comic mold, yet serve to evoke more from the reader than the typical piece of sequential art. Color is used in different ways based on location, scene and mood; sometimes, he even colors outside of the lines. The final artistic product is distinctively Huddleston's, yet his work is reminiscent of such comic creators as Ashley Wood, Brett Weldele and Rico Renzi. He truly is in a league of his own.
The Homeland Directive is definitely worth a look if you're in the mood for a political thriller. Huddleston's art steals the show, but that does not mean that Venditti is a slouch with his use of the English language. Expect to be rattled.
7.8* out of 10*
Review by: GLX