They Live! Meets The X-Files “Deep State #3” Review

Jan 17, 2015

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Deep state coverDeep State #3 (Boom! Studios)

Written by: Justin Jordan
Art by: Ariela Kristantina

They Live! was a petty horrible movie. A stage-piece for Rowdy Roddy Piper, it was one of the first movie vehicles for a WWE Super-star. Unusual back then, but all the rage now. Deep State bears some particular similarities to that movie, but with a smarter cast. To put an analog label on it, Justin Jordan’s tale is a bit of They Live! mixed up with some healthy doses of The X-Files and Men in Black.

In Deep State #3, Agents, or Officers, or Detectives (I’m really not sure and it is really not important) Harrow and Branch continue their efforts to get to the bottom of an alien invasion. It is typical Invasion of the Body Snatchers kind of stuff. But, man, the way artist Ariela Kristantina illustrates the way the aliens take over a human host makes my skin crawl and my back itch. I’m still reaching for a back scratcher several hours after reading through this particular issue.Deep State 2 (416x640)

Jordan defines and scripts a very Tommy Lee Jones kind of character in Harrow. You can definitely feel his southern drawl and gravelly voice coming through the lines as you read through them. Branch? I’ve got her pegged as Sandra Bullock. If I had to go younger, I’d go with Katie Cassidy. Point being, Jordan has these characters so well typed that you can easily cast them with an actor/actress that you feel fits their demeanor. That’s good story-telling.

Deep State does not necessarily leap off the page with tons of excitement and wonder. And in a week that is jam-packed with some pretty incredible single issues, this one is likely to go unnoticed by the mainstream crowd. This series should read very well in trades. But even if you want to jump on now just for a quick X-Files/MiB kind of fix, the story and setup leaves plenty of room for new readers to step in without needing a lot of the background from issues #1 and #2. Deep State is a nicely contained story amidst a sea of convoluted messes that populate a lot of the landscapes of DC and Marvel. While not revolutionary, it does provide a nice detour for those looking for something other than capes and tights. Sci-fi intrigue fans might want to check this one out.