Agent Hatch and Agent Gibson are sent to the Death Valley in California to investigate a suspicious murder. What could possibly go wrong in Unit 44 #8?
So, here’s how the Unit 44 series kicked off:
Agent Hatch and Agent Gibson, two not-so-smart agents, forgot to pay the rent for Area 51’s storage unit, which ended up in the hands of the wrong people. Then, out of nowhere, aliens decide to invade Earth, and the only ones who can save us are the same clumsy duo who messed everything up. Surprisingly, they somehow make it through.
Now, Agent Hatch and Agent Gibson get assigned to check out a suspicious murder on a mountaintop in Death Valley, California. What could possibly go wrong this time?
THE CREATIVE TEAM
The Unit 44 series was created by writer/letterer Wes Locher and published by Alterna Comics. The first four issues were released in 2017 as a graphic novel and rereleased in 2019 as part of Alterna’s newsprint initiative featuring art and colors by Ed Jiménez.
The series returned in 2022 for more zany action with artists Aleksandar Jovic, Landon Franklin, and colorist Andrew Pate. Issue 8 is illustrated by Aleksandar Jovic, and colored by Andrew Pate.
Unit 44 #8 is a 32-page floppy comic book printed on newspaper-like material, similar to what you would find in a Reader’s Digest, in full color with 20 pages of the main story. The remaining pages are used for advertisement space. The series is for ages 12+ and is a Sci-Fi comedy. The book was published by Alterna Comics in 2023.
Alterna Comics was founded in 2006 by publisher Peter Simeti. It is the home of a New York Times best-seller, FUBAR Empire of the Rising Dead (2012), and a film adaptation, The Chair (2017), and has gained attention for its modern newsprint initiative and affordable prices. Alterna Comics titles are distributed to readers and retailers worldwide from their online store.
While investigating a suspicious mountaintop murder in Death Valley, California, Gibson and Hatch learn that the killer is none other than Death himself. Then they meet Death, the Grim Reaper, face to face.
But when the Grim Reaper takes a liking to the fellas and hitches a ride back to Area 51, the agents fear that they may be his next victims. Chaos ensues when the Grim Reaper is roaming in Area 51.
Unit 44 issue 8 takes our not-so-bright duo, Agents Hatch and Gibson, on another wild adventure delivering an entertaining story with a unique blend of humor and suspense.
The comic stands out with its newspaper format and full-color illustrations, maintaining the charm of the series. The artistic collaboration of Aleks Jovic, and colorist Andrew Pate brings the zany action to life with good art.
Some of the lettering is too small in the beginning, I get that it conveys that the dialogue is said in a lower voice, I’ve seen it also in other comics, but it’s a bit annoying for people like me who have bad eyesight.
I like the cover art done by the illustrator of the comic, while the scene is not part of the story it truly illustrates how the agents would react in a situation like that.
My favorite parts include how the Reaper introduces himself and explains why he committed the crime. Gibson cracks me up in the beginning thinking he is hallucinating things. The realization panels of Mama’s Boy and Beef Cake, when the agents realize why The Grim Reaper came to Area 51 are very funny.
Issue 8 was part of the Alterna Comics AUGUST 2023 Pre-orders Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign which contained only the preorders for four comic book titles but you could also preorder and buy existing issues directly from the Alterna Comics website. The advertisement space previously mentioned is also part of the campaign which offers multiple options with various prices to anyone in the independent comic sphere who is interested in promoting their product or services.
From the August campaign, I selected directly from the website Wulf and Batsy #7 and #8, and Unit 44 #8, #14, #15, AF 6 Alterna Series Trading Cards, and from the King Cryptid Campaign that was simultaneously going on I ordered the issues, the Collector Case + King Cryptid Insert, the King Cryptid Series 2 Trading Card Pack and the bags & boards for the issues ordered.
The updates on the progress of the campaigns were shared via email and in the update section of the Indiegogo campaign. The tracking number was provided timely and the package arrived in good condition containing the Collector Case + King Cryptid Insert, 2X Alterna Series Trading Cards (#14, #15, and AF6), Wulf and Batsy issue 7 and issue 8, and Unit 44 issue 8.
One cool thing about Alterna is they’ve got solid customer service. If you reach out to them, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a response. They’re also on top of things by providing tracking numbers, and when they ship your order, everything comes in one package (most of the time). It’s good for folks who prefer that and saves on costs, especially for international backers who might be using third-party packaging services.
Another great quality of the creators at Alterna is their dedication to their art which is quite refreshing. They post about their creations on social media, talk about their stories on their YouTube channel or the Alterna Comics channel, and most importantly avoid wasting time with the drama of the week.
So I find it easy to find something to recommend to a friend instead of having to dive into a multiple-hour live stream trying to figure out at which timestamp the creators are talking about their books or searching on social media whether they posted something substantial about their creations that can be shared. Alterna titles like Unit 44, Tinseltown, King Cryptid, Trespasser, The XII, Gods and Gears, Wulf and Batsy, and many others are worth checking out.
The Unit 44 #8 story revolves around the agents investigating a mysterious murder in Death Valley, only to discover that Death himself is the culprit. The twist takes a comedic turn as Death befriends the agents and tags along to Area 51, adding an unexpected layer to the story. It’s funny and entertaining.
Issue 8 not only captures the essence of the Unit 44 series but also showcases Alterna Comics’ commitment to affordable and accessible comic book publishing through its modern newsprint initiative.
Overall, issue 8 is a fun addition to the series, offering a mix of humor, intrigue, and the supernatural. The ending makes you wonder how the agents will manage to get out of the predicament they got themselves in. I bet it’s gonna be hilarious. Can’t wait to dive into issue 9!
You can find the history and all the information about Unit 44 on unit44comic.com. All Unit 44 issues can be found on the Alterna Comics online store in physical and digital format. The campaign where you can preorder Unit 44 Issue 9 and Issue 10 is ongoing at the moment on Indiegogo and on the Alterna Comics website. Check them out!