Jerome Curtis and Dr. Gohel realize they know even less about what is going on at the base than they suspected. Hannah’s escape changes everything, but what will happen when she is found? Find out in Antarctica #8 from Image Comics!
Writer: Simon Birks
Artist: Willi Roberts
Letterer: Lyndon White
Editor: Elena Salcedo
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 14, 2024
Previously in Antarctica: Hannah’s father Jerome drugs her and takes her out of the house. She is flown to Antarctica. Dr. Gohel wonders why he does this. A couple days later, Hannah sees Dr. Gohel in the “window” she has figured out is a screen. Dr. Gohel wants to talk to her. Dr. Gohel helps Hannah escape from her fake house. She ends up outside in the snow. By this time, her father and Captain Williams start searching for her. But young Hannah is resourceful. She finds her way back into the base. Jerome realizes Dr. Gohel helped his daughter escape. He is not happy but is willing to work with her to keep Hannah safe. Meanwhile, Hannah finds her way deeper into the base and finds another little girl who looks just like her.
A SCIENTIST LOSES AND FINDS HER WAY
Antarctica #8 opens six years further in the past. Melissa Symonds approaches a young (pre-degree) Dr. Gohel with an invitation to help sponsor her pursuit of her PhD if she will help their organization. Gohel is skeptical; secret organizations are not to be trusted.
Back in the present, Hannah attempts to unlock the tank her double is in. Dr. Gohel gets an alert about this. She and Jerome figure it is probably Captain Williams at first, then Gohel checks for access cards. Her hunch was correct – Hannah is back inside the base.
Hannah lost the earpiece Gohel gave her, but Jerome found it in the snow. Gohel tells him to put it on. She has it set up on a private loop, so now the two of them can communicate. Jerome wonders why she is doing this, and she makes a comment about how when she was looking for answers, she lost sight of the question.
Manisha Gohel arrived at the base five years before. Symonds was there to greet her. Gohel is excited to see what is known as the Fracture – and happy to have someone she can talk to about it. She learns that her job, considering her specialty in protective materials, is to help devise a suit that will let them travel through the fracture safely. The only suit they have is far too bulky. There are more areas of the base, but they are off-limits to Gohel.
In the present, Hannah is found, but not by her father or Gohel. Jerome enters the lab and finds that the other Hannah is also gone, moved somewhere. Gohel recalls two years ago when she had her breakthrough – a glove that allows her to reach into the Fracture safely. This leads to an entire suit, and she steps into it and back out again, apparently safely.
Hannah awakens. Symonds, looking considering older than she did seven years ago, tells her everything is fine. Hannah realizes that she is confined to the portal to the Fracture. Gohel realizes where she is and tells Jerome. Gohel contacts Symonds and tells her to stop – they know what happens to people who go into the fracture unprotected. Symonds counters that they have not yet tried a Hannah. Jerome reaches the Fracture and punches out Colonel Williams. Symonds threatens to shoot Hannah. She insists they must find out what happens.
Antarctica #8 does wander through time, but between the lettering and the art, we can keep track of it. We continue to learn more about Hannah. I like how she is young enough to be distracted by things, such as getting the idea to free her lookalike even though she has been cautioned that being on the base is dangerous for her. I also appreciate that after a few guesses at the lock code, she gets angry and frustrated. She also remembers her way back into the fake house, although that is her downfall as Williams is waiting there for her.
At this point in time, the Fracture tantalizes us. No one knows exactly what it is or how it works. Williams and Symonds are desperate enough to bring in the best researchers they can find, but secretive enough that no one else knows the full reason they are here. This is Antarctica, and the establishing shots remind us of how isolated the base is. We don’t even see the Fracture at first, simply Gohel’s reaction. Even so, there is no one else in Gohel’s lab. The base is large but sparsely populated. The original suit for exploring the fracture is bulky and the shadows give it a sinister look. Everything tells us that whatever is going on here is probably bad.
BOTTOM LINE: A SITUATION YEARS IN THE MAKING
In Antarctica #8, we learn that Hannah has far more connection to whatever is going on with the multiple dimensions that we could ever have anticipated. There is a lot of tension in the adventure, but the science fiction is getting more interesting too.
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Is Hannah some sort of key to unlocking the Fracture?