Written by Charles Soule
Art by Drew Moss
Published by Oni Press
Release Date: 2/18/2015
Letter 44 is like a fantastic indie movie created by one of your favorite directors. Charles Soule, who is better known for his work with the “Big 2” (Death of Wolverine, Inhumans, Superman/Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing), has really crafted one of the best sci-fi thrillers out there for Oni Press. It’s filled with down to Earth personal scandal and political drama juxtaposed with a sci-fi thriller taking place in our own celestial backyard.
Much like issue #7, this story tracks some of the Clarke’s crew prior to joining Project Monolith and their setting off into space towards the asteroid belt. Highlighted here are the military pasts of now Colonel Overholt and Sergeant Willett. Overholt, then Secretary of Defense Brian Mitcher’s number one choice to lead the first human mission past Mars, is unwilling to go into orbit, but will stay on to help the project as much as he can from the ground if Willett is brought on board. The hard-headed Air Force engineer Willet “—I got straight A’s in 4th grade. Bring it on,” has saved Overholt’s life many times, from missions in Serbia, Iraq, and Liberia, so he’d like to repay him by getting him out of the motor pools and into an important role at the newly created Outer Space Corps, or OSCAR. There he joins Charlotte Hayden and Cary Rowan to train for the mission, but his curiosity leaves him behind bars indefinitely until Colonel Overholt takes measures to get him out.
Series regular Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque takes an issue off and is replaced by Drew Moss (Terrible Lizard) for this flashback issue. The art fits well with the series norm, with regulars Dan Jackson and Crank! on colors and letters, respectively. He captures the squatly natures of Secretary Mitcher and Dr. Portek well, and highlights the differences between the military personnel and the civilian Hayden and Rowan. There’s also a fun Star Wars Easter egg, a few Lambda class shuttles, in the under-mountain base.