Time is short and the power limited as Hannah and Dr. Hannah make plans to jump back to Antarctica. But how is their father connected to all these worlds, and how do their different lives affect them? Find out in Antarctica #5 from Image Comics!
Writer: Simon Birks
Artist: Willi Roberts
Letterer: Lyndon White
Editor: Elena Salcedo
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 15, 2023
Previously in Antarctica: Phillip is killed. Matteo kills Tunbridge, and Dr. Hirsch takes her comms. They know Hannah was caught and Matteo thinks disrupting the power might help. Dr. Hannah is concerned because their power continues to be too low. Dr. Hannah finds out the Tunbridge is dead. Hannah makes a comment about their father, and Dr. Hannah slaps her before heading out to find her companions. The power goes out. Hannah slips loose and knocks Yun out. She overhears Dr. Hannah and realizes how stressed she sounds, and that she seems to have anger against their father, rather like Hannah’s own. Hirsch and Matteo move to the server room where they discover Hirsch’s counterpart – but he has not transitioned; it is not legal on his world. The two of them form a connection, and Hirsch B explains that their world is overpopulated and dying, which is why they are trying to jump worlds. They also discovered that killing someone who has a counterpart in their world generates enough energy to recharge their batteries. Hannah gives herself up when Dr. Hannah threatens to kill Yun for letting her slip away. And then another Antarctic base arrives.
ANOTHER HANNAH MAKES HER MOVE
Antarctica #5 opens in grand fashion. Hannah was impressed by having Dr. Hannah as her enemy, one who is as tough and clever as she is. Now both of them face a new enemy, a scarred and commanding Hannah C, leading the forces from the new Antarctic base.
Hirsch and Matteo want to leave. Dr. Hannah says they do not have enough power. Ben Hirsch says that they do have enough power. Dr. Hannah can set up the jump for them to return, although even with computers it is not fast. Ben decides to stay with the computers. Roisin Hirsch joins the others in heading for the controls.
Meanwhile, Hannah C brings her forces in. She knows this world is only a waypoint and suspects that the people here are trying to set up a jump. She orders her soldiers to take no prisoners.
Dr. Hannah lets the others into her office. Hannah hears someone call out for her, a familiar voice, but one from her past. Hannah is incensed that Dr. Hannah brought her hear to someplace as dangerous as Antarctica, but when they go into the room, the woman Hannah recognizes as her old sister, Eve, is hooked up to medical equipment and dying. Her own sister died.
Ben says he can narrow the circumference of the jump so it centers around Dr. Hannah’s office and would avoid bringing many of the soldiers. Dr. Hannah wants to bring Eve along, but Eve insists on staying behind. She may be dying, but perhaps she can buy them some time.
THE NOT SO ROSY PAST
With the dimension jumping that occurs in Antarctica #5, the art does a lot of heavy lifting to help us keep track of everything. Outdoors, the scenery is dark and snow-swept. But now there are three distinct bases with their own crews. Dr. Hannah and her team wear black uniforms that are lined for warmth. Hannah C and her soldiers wear helmets that hide their faces entirely. Over their uniforms, they wear loose white coverings of the sort that would make them practically invisible in the snow. Their Hannah sports a very short, military-style haircut and she has scars on her face. As the story unfolds, we learn that Hannah’s love for her father was crossed with moments of hatred and anger, emotions that helped to shape her. Seeing this new version of her, we wonder what happened in her past to lead her to the decisions she made.
The story relies on flashbacks to show us past connections that may influence connections in the present. I like the way these are tied together with similarities in the art because this communicates how memories are triggered in the characters. One example is when Hannah first hears Eve’s voice in Dr. Hannah’s office area. Hannah happens to be in front of a closed door that frames her and focuses our attention on her. The next frame is a much younger Hannah in the same pose standing in front of a closed door in her own house. At the time, Eve was asking for help. This was shortly after their father disappeared, and Hannah’s resentment extended to doing things for her sister that he would have done. To have another version of Eve still alive gives Hannah another chance with her.
BOTTOM LINE: ALTERNATIVES AND DESPERATION
Antarctica #5 brings the first arc to a dramatic finish, leaving us on the edge of our seats waiting to see what will happen next. The characters are interesting and complicated which makes the stakes all the more compelling in this tale if interdimensional intrigue.
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Hannah and Dr. Hannah face off against their own worst enemy – another Hannah!