Great Stories selects……
Whiteout Vol 1 (Oni Press)
This week we are delving back to 1998 for a story created by the one and only Greg Rucka. Great Stories must admit a sort of love affair with Rucka’s writing and we sincerely hope that the perception of rose-colored glasses does not dissuade you (the reader) from seriously considering the purchase and enjoyment of this awesome tale. The picture above is actually from the graphic novel collection that was released by Oni Press in 2007, and can be found on Amazon as well as the Great Stories retail site www.great-stories.net (at least for now). The story caught the eye of Hollywood as well, as it was optioned for a movie release starring the lovely Kate Beckinsale in 2009, but took some serious liberties with the characters. As well, the movie did not even come close to capturing the quality and feel granted us by Rucka’s words and Steve Lieber’s art, but it did grant the story some extra exposure to the commercial market elements.
Whiteout was originally released as a four issue series (cover art can be seen above and below) and the story features two very powerful female leads. U.S. Marshall Carrie Stetko is stationed on Antarctica, and she has a problem. A killer is on the loose in one of the most harsh and dangerous environments on the planet. And the presence of an undercover British agent may complicate matters even more. The claustrophobia and isolation of the setting is palatable, especially as visually presented through Lieber’s pencils. And Rucka has a gift for making characters come to life while making a connection to the reader. He moves the action and plot development along at a satisfying pace as well as closing the story with a really great final panel. Hardcore mystery bloodhounds may balk at the lack of a total misdirection, but I think Rucka’s more direct storytelling approach is more a result of wanting to give us a character piece (the subject being a wounded and displaced Carrie Stetko) as opposed to a swerve that would overpower the true star of his story. Suffice to say, it works well and leaves the reader wanting more (which Rucka & Lieber kindly provide with the sequel Whiteout: Melt, which is not previewed here).
For novelist Greg Rucka, Whiteout was his first foray into the world of comics. And he obviously caught the attention of the DC and Marvel brass with this debut. Before long, he would be writing Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, and Daredevil books. Greg Rucka had arrived, and you can recapture his debut on the comic scene with Whiteout, a creator owned independent work worthy of your attention.
And for added entertainment, you can go rent the Hollywood version with the aforementioned Kate Beckinsale. Just don’t expect that one to measure up with the source material. 😉
Great Stories are everywhere!
Chris (for the Great Stories team)