Whiteout Vol 1 by Greg Rucka is a stark, black and white graphic novel that at its heart, is a Sam Spade murder mystery of lost fortune, bloody bodies and law enforced prior to the Miranda rights were ever uttered. All in the cold frozen wasteland at the bottom of the world; Antarctica.
US Marshal, Carrie Stetko, has come to make the barren ice world of US Base McMurdo in Antarctica her home. Leaving her past and her career stateside behind her, she has found a peace here in the cold. There is rarely any crime, besides the occasional missing possession and drunken revelers. Its pretty tame to what she left behind. Except for the faceless dead body out in the snow. Except for murder and she is the only law around.
The killer has to be one of five men. But they can be anywhere on the continent and as Carrie begins to hunt them down, the dead bodies begin to pile up. It soon becomes clear to Carrie that this is much more than a murder. What of the ice samples missing from around the first body? And who is Lily Sharpe and why does she want to help ?
It soon becomes obvious that there is more to Lily than what meets the eye. More to the dead body than what meets the eye and with McMurdo about to be evacuated by its seasonal run, Carrie has to find the killer before he boards a flight and is gone forever.
Whiteout is Greg Rucka’s first foray into the comic book world and with the stark and atmospheric artwork by Steve Lieber, its a terrific one. Whiteout is another one of those small indie comic series that gained critical acclaimed and then was made into a movie (starring the incredibly gorgeous and made less so for the movie; Kate Beckinsale)that did not do quite so great. But don’t let that fool you. The movie is good and the graphic novel is great. In Carrie, Rucka creates a strong female lead that has come to grips with her station in life. Her career destroyed for events out of her control, Carrie makes the most of her posting in McMurdo. When the murder comes to the ice, she is ready to tackle the mystery. The addition of Lily Sharpe as the enigmatic British Secret Service agent that helps and hinders Carrie’s investigation is a very good touch. This graphic novel reads like a murder mystery that could have been written years ago by Alistair MacLean. Shades of Ice Station Zebra. It is that good.