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Not Your Daddy's E.T. - Alienated #1 Review

Published on

Written by Simon Spurrier

Illustrated by Chris Wildgoose

Colored by André May

Lettered by Jim Campbell

Published by BOOM! Studios

As the old expression says, we all have the power to change the world. For the three main characters in Alienated, this is especially true. These characters are three kids named Sam. They are all walking through the woods on their way to school when they stumble upon an alien cocoon. Upon coming in contact with the cocoon, they are granted the ability to hear each others thoughts. By the end of the issue, they discover that there's more to their new ability then they originally realized.

This issue did a great job setting up the rest of the mini-series. Though it doesn't reveal much more than the solicitation had already informed me of, Alienated #1 did leave me excited to see where the story goes. I do hope that the author pushes the envelope as the teens' relationship with the alien progresses. This seems like the type of story that could get really derivative, really quickly. However, considering its written by Simon Spurrier, I expect the story go in a dark and complex direction. The originality of one aspect of this story is another reason I have high expectations future issues will deliver a unique story. Once the three Sams gain the ability to hear each others thoughts, they spend most the rest of the issue being weirded out by their new ability. Too often when characters find they are mentally linked, they just immediately accept it and move on. It was nice to see Spurrier relate this experience to the thoughts of teenagers and deliver a realistic reaction.

I really like the individuality of each of the three Sams. Each Sam was distinct and relatable, and Chris Wildgoose's character designs made them that much more interesting. Each Sam is drawn with their own unique look and written with their own unique personality. Samuel is an anti-establishment video blogger. Samir is a people pleaser, drawn with an outfit that seems to be meant to make him stand out to his peers. Samantha keeps to herself after a tragic incident, which is hinted at but never fully revealed. She's content to blend into the background and just get through the last six months of high school. Wildgoose does a great job of portraying her sulkiness and standoffish nature through his artwork.

It's obvious from this first issue that the art team really came together to make something great. Wildgoose's artwork finds the right balance between animation and realism. His style is accentuated by May's color choices. May's color palette shifts with the mood and setting of each scene. Day time outdoor scenes have a warmth to them. The scenes featuring the alien have an otherworldly glow. The scenes set in the high school, where two of the Sam's don't feel comfortable, are given a bleak look by the colors. The best part of this issue was that the art team took the time to color code each character's dialogue. This improved the comic's readability, making it easy to differentiate between each character's thought bubbles and narrative dialogue.

Alienated #1 is the kind of comic where you come for the story, but end up staying for the art. The story is interesting and the characters are relatable. The cohesion of the artwork, colors, and lettering elevates Spurrier's script to the next level. I'm interested to see more of the alien and how each character uses their new found ability to change their lives. I think it's safe to say, that after reading this first issue, reader will not be left feeling alienated.

Story: 5 / 5

Art: 5 / 5

OVERALL: 5 / 5