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Alienated (BOOM! Studios)

ALIENATED #6 review

Marc reviews the final issues of BOOM! Studios outstanding series ALIENATED.

Synopsis

Reeling from the devastating effects of Chip’s true powers, the Sams have a terrible choice to make. As they face off once and for all, Chip — and the town of Tangletree — hangs in the balance.

Review

NO! WHY DOES IT HAVE TO END??!! Issue 6 marks the finale of this series which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Spoilers below.

The issue begins after the literal bomb shell ending of the previous as Sam rants and rages to a smartphone, streaming to an audience we are never actually sure are there. Spurrier manages to convey a tumult of teenage emotions in the opening scene, with Sam expressing rage, regret, sorrow, selfishness, cockiness and contempt to name but a few. Wildgoose does another stellar job of conveying these contrasting emotions in his art. It is a great sequence anger is visible in Sam’s face while the captions are apologetic. It is a visual representation of the teenage mentality turned up to 11.

As the book progresses it becomes clear that there is no redemption for Sam. He has abused Chip, killed his mother, his friend and his hero in his egocentric quest to show the world what he can do. He is portrayed as pathetic, a boy who wants everyone to see him, but having destroyed his family, friends and town there is no one left to look upon him. It is a great super-villain origin story, for what are super-villains if not self-centered teenagers hellbent on changing the world for the better, whether everyone else likes it or not? Sam’s death is wonderfully portrayed in the art as we see the crater of a town her supposedly destroyed mirrored with the pale dead pupil of Sam’s still eye. His is a tragic story that I have enjoyed reading from beginning to end.

Throughout the series the creators have made use of everything that the comic book medium has to offer to tell their story and this issue is no exception. There is one excellent sequence where Sam pushes Samantha literally through the panel boarder and into the guttering of the page and there is a tremendous double page spread. The subtleties in the lettering adds nuance to the words on the page, the colouring adds tone to the art and story, the art flawlessly embraces the themes, feeling and characters of the story, and the writing perfectly captures the reality of being a teenager exploring the different emotions, sentiments and situations that being a teenager entails. I have been blown away by this creative team and what they have achieved over these 6 issues – I would love to see them work together again.

My one gripe with this issue was that at times I was slightly confused but going back to reread cleared this up and I feel that with a bigger page count this would not have been a problem. This is a book that asks you to pay close attention to everything. There are still questions to be answered, mainly what is Chip, where is he from and what was that baby!? These are questions I am hoping will be answered in a follow up series!…please?

I picked the first issue of this up on a whim and I have been swept up in its world and story since that moment. I have felt a connection to each of the Sams who are just trying to get through these tough teenage years – a testament to the team. Simon Spurrier, Chris Wildgoose, Andre May and Jim Campbell have achieved something truly remarkable – this is a book that should be experienced by everybody, and I am so sad it’s over!

Verdict

8/10 – This issue had its problems, but overall it succeeds in tying up the story neatly. Please don’t go, please!


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