Alienated #1 is available now where all good comics are sold!
Acclaimed writer Simon Spurrier (John Constantine Hellblazer, Coda) and artist Chris Wildgoose (Batgirl, Batman: Nightwalker) present a subversive coming-of-age story about having all the power to change the world but the unready hands to truly wield it. Three teenagers, each an outcast in their own way, stumble upon an unearthly entity as it’s born. As they bond over this shared secret and the creature’s incredible abilities, it becomes clear to the teenagers that their cute little pet is a superpredator in the making—and it’s in need of prey. Guided by the best intentions at first, the teens’ decisions soon become corrupted by adolescent desires, small town jealousies, and internal rivalries, sending them into a catastrophic spiral of their own making.
Alienated is the latest #1 from Boom Studios, written by Simon Spurrier (Books of Magic, Constantine), pencils by Chris Wildgoose (Batgirl), colours by Andre May and lettered by Jim Campbell.
The story is that of three teenagers, all named “Sam”, who stumble across an alien object on the way to school and are granted psychic powers. While this premise may seem generic, this comic is anything but. We follow the 3 Sam throughout the school day – before, during and after their encounter.
We are introduced to the 3 Sams in the first 4 pages of the issue, which are methodically laid out by Wildgoose. Each of the Sam’s, although share a name, have completely different personalities, punctuated by their individual colour pallets and coloured caption boxes. Spurrier’s engaging dialogue and the contrasting caption colours work wonderfully in establishing the character’s personalities – one wants to hide, one wants to be seen and the other wants to be liked. This leads in to an intriguing and fun blend of teen angst and sci-fi.
Wildgoose’s art is equally as wonderful. The acting is first rate and the action pages flow nicely. The characters are put through a multitude of emotions and each is captured expertly by Wildgoose. Another highlight are page and panel layouts. These engage the reader, while also telling a story of their own and establishing the connection between our ‘heroes’. The art of this book fits the “Boom aesthetic” and is reminiscent of recent Boom hit Once and Future drawn by Dan Mora.
The unique and engrossing element of this book is the lettering by Jim Campbell. Something so simple as having certain words in grey and in a slightly smaller font had me reading aloud, though quietly, in the character’s voice. The lettering and coloured captions adds a whole new layer to the reading experience.
I found myself laughing out loud at points and genuinely mortified at others. Spurrier feeds us just enough information on each of the characters, giving each one their own mysterious past which leave the reader grasping for more. There are clues hinted at in the beautiful double page spread, and we are left with a cliff hanger which begs the question: can really call these characters ‘heroes’. Finishing the book leaves the reader wondering how the characters’ new relationship will develop
Even the minor characters are interesting which is a credit to Spurrier’s writing and remarkable world-building. Leon, the bike-riding school bully is funny, offensive and tragic all at once, while the mysterious viral video star Waxy allows for current social commentary
I find it hard to find flaws in this first issue. If anything, I could have done with it being slightly longer. There are instances which seemed rushed and a slightly longer first issue could have allayed that but overall I was extremely satisfied. This book is a testament to what comics and truly achieve.
A unique and engaging 1st issue has me clamouring for more! The team here all have vital, individual roles and work wonderfully together. The interesting story, stimulating artwork and technical treats make this the best first issue I have read in a long time. The harmony of all the elements is a delight to look at, and if they can keep to up for the rest of the story then Boom have another hit on their hands
Alienated #1 is written by Simon Spurrier with artwork and a cover by Chris Wildgoose. The series is published by BOOM! Studios.