By Paul Cornell, Ryan Kelly, David Lapham, Mirko Colak, and Andrea Mutti; Vertigo Comics
This review will contain mild *SPOILERS*. For a *SPOILER* free review of Saucer Country please go here.
Saucer Country is a comic series designed to prey specifically on my childhood fear of extraterrestrials, and it is pretty great. The Series follows Arcadia Alvarado, a democratic nominee for President of The United States, as she searches for the truth behind her alien abduction experiences. The Reticulan Candidate picks up well into the election cycle, with Alvarado and her supporters running the gauntlet of debates and primaries and campaigning in the public spotlight. Against this scrutiny the group is also continuing their search to uncover the truth about Alvarado's abduction and the broader truth about extraterrestrial visitors to Earth. The Reticulan Candidate adds some really compelling layers of complexity to an already very elaborate conspiracy and smacks us with some pretty great revelations and surprises about the ongoing story. It’s a fantastic second chapter. One of the greatest strengths of The Reticulan Candidate, and Saucer Country in general, is how well it manipulates its audience’s relationship with conspiracy. The comic is very aware that we are simultaneously skeptical of the most fantastic elements of the comic and demand rational explanations, while also deeply invested in the existence and story of the supernatural elements. The way The Reticulan Candidate walks the tight rope between disappointing us with mundane reality or disappointing us by embracing pure fantasy is brilliant. And in doing so, the comic really becomes this exploration of what conspiracy is, and how it preys on the belief of its faithful to exist. The Reticulan Candidate is great comics.
Word count: 250