"Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you," Fox Mulder once insisted, and that quote might fit better than the one that actually prefaces The Homeland Directive: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Truer words, Ben Franklin, but a decade's worth of fumbling airport security and Patriot Act provisions have dulled 'em a bit.

Support The Portland Mercury

Written by The Surrogates' Robert Venditti and illustrated by Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker's Mike Huddleston, The Homeland Directive gleefully mashes on its tinfoil hat to tell a tale of a massive government conspiracy that checks off a laundry list of America's worries: terrorism, digital privacy, money. Dr. Laura Regan finds herself in the midst of the chaos: People are dropping dead throughout the US, and Regan's only hope of surviving—let alone figuring out what's going on—rests with a small crew of rebellious government agents, all of whom keep insisting that things in America are a lot worse than John Q. Public knows.

Everything wraps up a bit too quickly, but for the most part, Venditti keeps things moving briskly, while Huddleston's art is the real page-turner—his enthusiasm's contagious as he continually switches up styles and color palettes. The Homeland Directive offers a few interesting ideas, a few kooky ones, and enough thrills to get the job done—it's just the sort of thing, I suspect, that one might find on a certain FBI agent's basement bookshelf.