This cinematic graphic novel rises above the herd with its excellent characterization, gritty crime plot, and the fascinating setting of research bases on the South Pole. The central character is US Deputy Marshal Carrie Stetko, who has been exiled to McMurdo Station after having killed a prisoner in her custody. As a rare year-round woman resident of the pole, Stetko has to be tough as nails to fend off the advances of the rough men. When a body is found, and five other men are missing, she is called upon to investigate. The investigation takes plenty of twists and turns, with plenty of action and suspense. Stetko emerges as a character you want to meet again (fortunately she does, in Whiteout: Melt), and the artwork transports you to a unique setting that oozes with danger.
I walked by this graphic novel many times at my local comic book store and grew ever more curious about it each time. It wasn't until I read Rucka's fantastic "No Man's Land" novelization, however, that I finally decided to buy "Whiteout." Well, all I can say is that I'm glad I did. "Whiteout" is a gritty, hardnosed, suspenseful cop story with true to life artwork (so much so, in fact, that I actually felt cold looking at some of the stark, icy drawings filling the pages). Rucka and Lieber are wonderful talents, without a doubt. I'd love to see their female Marshal teamed up in a crossover story with the Tommy Lee Jones Marshal from the Fugitive someday. "Whiteout" is highly recommended!
I was completely convinced for a couple of years that I'd read <em>Whiteout</em> right around the time the movie was released, so I never bothered getting it out of the library again to check until about a month ago. Oops, turns out I was entirely wrong. If you've seen the movie (or heard about it), you know the drill: strong, engaging female character is forced to solve a murder in Antarctica, possibly earning herself a ticket back to civilization if she does. There's a great deal of snow (and Rucka is solid at figuring out how to maximize the effect of his white spaces without making them look like "blank page"), some undercurrents of sexism that break onto the surface now and then, and a solid mystery. Even if you never saw the movie, perhaps especially if you never saw the movie, this one's good reading. *** ˝