Paul Cornell & Ryan Kelly’s Saucer Country #3 Review

From Vertigo Comics, Paul Cornell, Ryan Kelly, Giulia Brusco, Sal Cipriano, and Will Dennis.

If issue #1 introduced us to a concept that is very familiar to the American psyche, and issue #2 was the set up, moving pieces into place, than issue #3 is takes everything, turning it upside down, and around on itself, challenging your understanding of the concepts at hand.

As issue #2 ended, Arcadia is bound and determined to win the presidency to help deal with the problem at hand, the supposed “invasion.” Their first  move was to hire professor Joshua Kidd, a Harvard folklorist, to a staff position, and it’s his presence that proves vital in this issue. Michael, the ex-husband of the governor, is struggling to deal with what he’s experienced, and hypnotism is his outlet. His experiences are deeply terrifying, and his cover happens to emblazon the actual cover of this issue.

Since the last issue, it’s clear that Michael is a threat to Arcadia’s run for president, it’s also clear that he’s in deeper than he initially may realize as this issue goes on. As spoiler free as possible, there is a re-occurrence of sorts,  that only leads to more questions. Similarly as professor Kidd joins the team, Arcadia tries to make sense of what happened but Kidd slaps her with a bit of reality.

Introduced into this issue is a group called Blue-Bird, their intentions aren’t exactly known to the reader just yet, but these Harvard socialites have aliens and “flying saucers” on their mind. The potential this group has on the comic could be damaging to many, especially without clear intentions; the sky is the limit here with this group. Their sudden appearance and departure is very vague, but is intriguing enough to wonder what comes next.

This issue really shines towards its end as professor Kidd gives us a reality check, in a way that is as stark as Walking Dead’s “We are the Walking Dead” that Rick drops at the end of it’s second arc: “I don’t think anyone knows what ‘abducted by aliens’ really means.” Cornell’s brilliant play with the word “grey” in the definition of mythology is more brilliant than you may initially realize.

Saucer Country at it’s core, is an examination of mythology that is relatable to the 21st century human being and in that mythology are  the basic primal features that man may have been hiding for hundreds of years. It’s also the most subtle horror story you’ve ever read; horror which defies understanding. In a time where the end of the world is predicted constantly, the idea that “something” may be behind it is terrifying. Enter Saucer Country into the collective unconscious, rattling your world from the safe haven where it once existed. If you’re not on board, you may not realize it yet!

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