Higher Earth is a really cool, new sci-fi action adventure book with a neat core premise. What if there were multiple parallel Earths, and one Higher Earth conquered and controlled all the others? This Higher Earth then used the other Earths as garbage dumps, or resource mines, and forced the poor people of the lower Earths to work for them. Everything was going great until some people from the lower Earths decided to fight back. The expertly crafted story of Higher Earth follows Heidi and Rex, who are on the run from the Empire that controls the Earths, because they are people of interest. As the story unfolds, we learn just how important they are and why they may be able to change things for the better.
Issue #4 of Higher Earth slows down a bit after last month’s dinosaur-packed violence fest. Most of this issue is spent with Rex filling Heidi in on his mission and why she is important to it. Last issue, we learned the truth about Rex, and in this issue there are even more hard truths to be revealed. There’s even a cool diagram showing how the multiple Earths work. The best part is that even amidst all of this exposition, Sam Humphries doesn’t forget the importance of his characters. The exposition is wrapped up in his characters’ emotions and tinted through their experiences, so even while explaining new concepts to readers, he still develops his characters further.
Last issue, Francesco Biagini really shined in the action scenes, and I was happy to see that in a quieter issue like this one, his talent was still on display. He keeps the story moving with interesting layouts and good pacing, so that the exposition doesn’t bog down the reader. He also does a great job of making the characters very expressive with lots of reaction shots.
Higher Earth is a truly unique, new comic and one of the best sci-fi books on the shelf right now. Make sure you pick it up. Even better: go start with Issue #1 and read the whole run. Sam Humphries is a real rising star, but beyond all of his more mainstream work, it’s this series and his early creator-owned work that we’ll be talking about years from now. Higher Earth #4: buy it!