Higher Earth is an intriguing recent series from Boom! Studios that seems to be flying a bit under the radar. It revolves around the existence of multiple Earths, and how certain Earths parasitically devour others to cultivate wealth for themselves. People from each Earth have counterparts on other Earths as well, although the conditions of these Earths and the beliefs of these people tend to vary to some degree. At the top of this hierarchy is Highest Earth – the 1% of the multiverse, if you will – which is run by an enigmatic Queen who has some connection to our two main protagonists, one of whom is implied to be another alternate universe version of her. However, issue #5 functions as an expository backstory to the young Queen’s beginnings, and the start of her dominance of the multiverse.
WRITTEN BY: Sam Humphries
ART BY: Joe Eisma
PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios
RELEASE: Sept. 26th, 2012
While its fairly high-concept, “Higher Earth” has thus far been laid out simply from a story-telling perspective allowing easy access for new readers. Only a few characters have been introduced so far, and most of them are alternate versions of each other. This simplicity is one of the greatest strengths of the series. as it does not get bogged down with details. While this doesn’t lead to many wow-moments, Sam Humphries’ plots is engaging and establishes enough suspense to keep the action moving. Such is the case in this issue, as we see just how the Queen came to be.
Born a young child on a war-torn Earth, she becomes the first human to enter another parallel Earth. Her experiences hone a desire to explore the multiverse, as well as a ruthless survival instinct in her. A meeting with an alternate universe self then leads to a path she could have never imagined, but takes to with ruthless efficiency. A simple story, which doesn’t take many chances – except for the meeting between the two “Queens” – but it explores the development of the Queen’s character, and it provides an explanation for how the setting of the series came to be.
Joe Eisma takes over from Francesco Biagini on this issue. While his work is serviceable, it doesn’t quite meet the standard Biagini set in previous issues. Eisma’s work isn’t bad, but it’s far from remarkable. His characters are solid, but his environments are generally bland.
“Higher Earth” #5 doesn’t take many risks but there are moments hinting at the serious potential for the series. Issue #5 is another solid entry in this young series and it keeps the soft sci-fi epic trotting forward.
Reviewed by – George Shunick