by Robert Vendeitti & Mike Huddleston

Top Shelf Productions, $14.95, 150 pages

The Homeland Directive tells the story of Laura Regan, a researcher at the CDC who is targeted by the United States government, for no reason that she knows, at least initially. She is attending a conference when she learns of the murder of her research partner, who dropped her at the airport a few hours before, and then is quickly abducted from the parking garage.

The story is timely, coming a decade after 9/11, and it definitely trades on the strains of conspiracy theory that have become more popular in the wake of that tragedy. Although the overall pace of the story is very quick, aided by the graphic novel format, the extent of the conspiracy takes time to develop, and the reader is most of the way through the book before they realize the true extent of what is happening.

Mike Huddleston’s art is also a vital part of this story. Huddleston is clearly well versed in comic and graphic novel history, and he uses different styles and colors to tell different parts of the story. The element of genius is that all of these styles will seem familiar to anyone who has ever read comics in America, and that the styles themselves help convey the mood and the message of the piece.

Katie Richards