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Letter 44, Volume 1: Escape Velocity

(Letter 44 #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,824 ratings  ·  235 reviews
On Inauguration Day, newly elected President Stephen Blades hoped to tackle the most critical issues facing the nation: war, the economy, and a failing health care system. But in a letter penned by the outgoing President, Blades learns the truth that redefines "critical": seven years ago, NASA discovered alien presence in the asteroid belt, and kept it a secret from the wo ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 30th 2014 by Oni Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Showing 1-30
3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,824 ratings  ·  235 reviews

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Aneela ♒the_mystique_reader♒
A comic about alien invasion with political turns and twists! A great combo that always interests me!

Captivating Story

Blades is a newly elected president. The last president not only left the country into poor state of economy, health care and engaged in unnecessary wars with two countries. He also left Blades a letter telling him the reason behind all the mess he created. The reason he mentioned was hard to digest.

He didn't believe that their planet is under threat of an alien invasion unti
Jan Philipzig
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
President Obama vs. the Gigantic Alien Gun

[Though the book does not officially feature Barack Obama and George W. Bush, there can be no doubt that two of its main characters are thinly veiled versions of the two, and in this review I will thus for simplicity's sake refer to them as Obama and Bush.]

On the eve of his inauguration, Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, receives from his predecessor, George W. Bush, the so-called Letter 44:
“Welcome to the job, son… I know you don’t
Oct 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comix

Three and a half stars.


How scary can an alien be if you can figure out the cubic space he takes up with a math formula?

Take the formula for figuring out the volume of a cone – then take the formula for figuring out a sphere – take half the volume for the sphere and add it to your solution for the cone and you have your big scary alien. Oooh, Geometry gone wild, run for your lives. It's a polygon! Hah!

Then: Laser beams! Ouch! Exploding stuff! Ouch! Death ray! Ouc
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This is the first work of Charles Soule's where I went, "Now I get why Marvel hired this guy." This is fantastic stuff. I can't wait to read the next volume.

What if Barack Obama showed up on his first day in the Oval Office and George Bush had left him a note that aliens are real and building something in our solar system? Our story is two-fold. On one side we have the President trying to prepare America for a potential invasion from aliens and on the other a team of astronauts who've been sent
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Sam Quixote
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What if…

Aliens are real and are much closer to us than we thought. NASA have discovered what looks like a massive alien mining operation in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter but we don’t know whether the aliens are hostile or friendly - or even whether they’re mining or preparing to invade! A team of nine volunteers made up of scientists and special forces left Earth three years ago on a one-way mission to make first contact. No-one but the highest ranking officials in the US government
Kristy K
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

This comic has been on my tbr for a while so when Netgalley had it available as part of a re-release I grabbed the chance to read it.

The plot revolves around the inauguration and new term of Pres. Blake (44th US pres.) and a group of astronauts who’ve been sent to see what they can find about an alien structure. It pulls heavily from 2008 US politics but puts a spin on it. I really enjoyed this one and am excited to see where it leads.
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Letter 44 is equal parts space adventure and politics, an odd mix that somehow works perfectly. Roughly half of the story is with the intrepid crew of the Clarke, on a mission to discover what mysterious thing a mysterious intelligence is building, pointed at Earth. The other half of the story is with new president Stephen Blades, stepping into office after a very Bush-like president. And believe it or not, the political part is just as interesting and just as much fun to read as the space adven ...more
Short review: great book. Don't let this linger on your shelf like I did, you'll regret it.

The longer this story unfolds, the more tense and dramatic it becomes. I'm finding myself genuinely surprised at this - I've read a couple of other Soule joints and this level of control, of depth of research, wasn't hinted at in his previous works. While interesting stories, the only surprises I felt during Strongman were at his adherence to old school Latin self-sacrificing hero dialogue. Whereas here I

Space! Aliens! Government conspiracy! Political allegory!

Letter 44 is a legitimately expert written, multi-level political thriller and space adventure. Charles Soule is on point here with his fantastic dialog, plotting, characterization, and visual details. Even the way the story literally unfolds as you turn the page is precisely written, with that Chief of Staff shocker! I've read a good number of space/sci-fi/mindfuck books and this is among the best.

Newly inaugurated black President Steph
David Schaafsma
Maybe this will get better. I was hopeful because it is clearly a commentary on the Bush years from the perspective of the Obama administration, with some new information, that Bush had a secret, that there was this little alien problem they encountered in outer space… I don't (yet) like it much, it feels sort of canned and not particularly well written but sometimes when I keep reading things they get better. We'll see. Other reviewers I admire seem to like it a lot, so I'll keep on...
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, sci-fi
Letter 44 was a breath of fresh air. It is a solid sci-fi opera. I'd call it a space opera, but there are a lot of events on Earth as well.

The 44th President has just been elected. As he sits down in the Oval Office he finds, as per tradition, the previous President's letter to him. Inside is a bombshell- the Earth has been dealing with an alien object that has appeared in our solar system. The previous administration had been using foreign wars as a cover to develop new technology under the cov
Read all my reviews on

When newly elected President Blades entered office, he didn't think life would be easy. He didn't expect to learn about aliens, possibly/probably planning some kind of invasion, and a secret space mission to study the aliens.

This was surprisingly good. I was a bit skeptical, because lately I wasn't having to much luck with my comics, but this story really good capture my attention. It's part political intrigue and part space mission, a
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, sci-fi
Please allow me to rave about Letter 44!

Sometimes comics have an awesome premise- in this case, what if after winning a presidential campaign on the platform that he will undo the previous president's mistakes, President Obama (I mean President Stephen Blades) must continue two unnecessary wars, unchecked military spending and policies that will destroy the American economy. There is nothing he can do, because secretly there are aliens near Jupiter, watching Earth.

And there you have me. That is
Summary: On his first day of his new job, president Stephen Blades finds a letter of his predecessor. In this letter, he learns about an alien construction hidden in space, and about the space mission on its way to discover what the construction is, and why it's there.

What I liked:
- I've been binging on science-fiction reads lately, and I liked this take on the "intelligent beings in space" theme. More mystery, and less big-headed green guys
- President Blades is put in a difficult position - wil
Kari Rhiannon (Moon Magister Reviews)
2 stars

You know, this comic would probably have got a much better rating for me if it hadn't been for the casual misogyny peppered throughout it.

Women are treated like trash in this comic. They're all massively oversexualised, I mean, the two women on the space ship basically end up f*cking every dude on the ship, but not in like an empowered 'I sleep with who I choose' kind of way, kind of in a 'whoops, this dude needs a lay, ASAP, better be me who does it' kind of way...

Just, no...

And the
Jesse A
Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Decent story with somewhat cartoonist art. 3 stars.
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
I keep wiffle-waffling on Letter 44. On one hand, it's a fun, speculative science-fiction/conspiracy theory comic. Yay! On the other hand, it treads ground worn smooth by legions of sci-fi authors previously. On the other other hand, it's wonderfully drawn and inked. Yet it lacks subtlety and some of the action was muddied.

Okay, premise: New president comes into his office and receives a letter addressed to "44" (his number in the Presidential line). It's from the previous president, a fellow na
Sam Quixote
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What if when Obama was elected, on his first day in office he discovered the real reason behind George W Bush's warmongering: to prepare humanity for an alien invasion! That's the incredible premise of Letter 44 (with different names for the presidents of course) as a secret crew of astronauts heads out to meet the cloaked giant alien vessel and learn what they can of it to give the rest of us back on Earth a better chance of fighting back (if they're hostile). Read the full review here!
Javier Muñoz
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Parte intriga política, parte relato de primer contacto con alienigenas, la carta 44 nos muestra las dificultades que sufre el presidente número 44 de estados unidos cuando el primer día de su mandato se encuentra con la sorpresa de que un artefacto alienigena está siendo construido dentro del sistema solar. Además tenemos otra trama paralela que nos cuenta los progresos de la misión espacial enviada para investigar el artefacto.

Muy buen cómic, interesante y entretenido
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No está mal la presentación de este tebeo entre el thriller político y el relato del primer contacto. Sin embargo, cualquier evolución futura queda muy condicionada por la capacidad de sus autores de superar sus limitaciones. Soule maneja bien los lugares comunes de su argumento pero cae en un par de cagadas de esas de primero de guión que te hacen plantearte hasta qué punto está capacitado para conducir la narración (esa concatenación de escenas que es imposible que esté sucediendo al mismo tie ...more
Chloe (QuothTheBookLover)
I’d heard so many good things about this and whilst I did enjoy the parts that were focused on the space ship I found the rest quite boring. I ended up skim reading parts that seemed to go on forever which were centred around the president. I would definitely pick up volume 2 just for the crew in space, I’m so interested in them. Hopefully the rest of the story will start to interest me as much as theirs!
Aug 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics
I've always wanted to name something I wrote Escape Velocity ... because I'm a dork who thinks the concept (minimum speed needed for an object to escape from the gravitational influence of a massive body) would make a good metaphor. However, I think Soule used it here because it just sounds cool. Maybe the metaphor comes to fruition in later volumes. Or maybe I'm not seeing it.

What I did see was atrocious art. Seriously, that was the first problem (among many). The newly elected president finds
José Vázquez
El primer volumen de La Carta 44 es poco menos que una presentación en situación. Poco menos que un piloto para la serie de televisión de SyFy la que ya han encargado piloto. Una premisa intrigante, presentación de personajes y situaciones y ganchos suficientes para mantenerte interesado. Tanto que parece demasiado pensado. Un producto diseñado para cumplir con los estándares. Y en 2016 se hace quizá demasiado corto.

En cualquier caso tiene potencial, y tanto el guión de Soule como el dibujo de A
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like Space and Politics. And the Politics of Space.
How does Charles Soule do it?

As if writing Superman/Wonder Woman, She-Hulk, the Death of Wolverine, and others for major publishers wasn't enough I guess he found time away from his law practice to pen this outrageously awesome series that combines the best elements of "House of Cards", the Danny Boyle film "Sunshine", and I don't know what else.

Highly recommended.
Luke Burrage
Letter 44 #1 actually isn't bad. It's very expositiony, nothing new for any science fiction reader (as of issue 1), but I found it quite intriguing.

It's difficult to rate a comic after only one issue, as it's like rating a first chapter of a book. Depending on how well the overall story is served by an opening chapter is its real test, though on subjective enjoyment 3 stars is pretty good.
Vier Sterne bisher nur, weil mir die Story gefällt. Der Zeichenstil von Alberto ist allerdings so unterirdisch, dass ich nicht glaube die Reihe über längere Zeit ertragen zu können.
Kirsty Hanson
Yes, I went a bit click-happy when it came to requesting Graphic Novels off of Netgalley. It's because they're quick reads, and I was SO behind on my Goodreads challenge, and plus, you can't really beat a good graphic novel, can you? So this time, I opened up the Adobe Digital app on my phone, and got ready to read my latest download: a space drama that was kind of like when Obama took over from Bush...

On Inauguration Day, newly elected President Stephen Blades hoped to tackle the most critical
Jay Omega
Kindle version: Without a fancy binding, it's just a comic book.

The idea was interesting, but execution was thin. Little meat to be had here.

I know others have raved about the artwork, but I found it to be unappealing. Characters are hard to distinguish, having blocky heads and features. There's a lot of gigantic muscles, weird body proportions and standing about in awkward looking poses. And the hands? Yikes.

Characters, well there's the president and some astronauts, one which is pregnant! G
Shabbeer Hassan
A stupid storyline, horrendous artwork and most importantly the title itself "Escape Velocity" makes no sense, since it has no relevance to the plot. Oh, and if you think these are the only problems, then think about these:

A crew of 9 has just 2 women and they make a unanimous decision of having a baby in space, why?
Aliens are detected in outer space and the US president decides not to tell anyone, why?
Futuristic robocop weapons are developed in a matter of 5 years, how?
A giant spaceship is lau
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