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Wednesday, March 01, 2006
War of the Worlds: Second Wave
War of the Worlds: Second Wave by Michael Alan Nelson and Chee
This is one of those rare comics that deserves all the pre-release hype it's been getting. I was skeptical of the chances of revisiting the concept of H.G. War of the Worlds successfully, especially after so many of the recent comic treatments, intended largely to piggy-back on the Tom Cruise film, weren't very good. But Nelson and Chee pull it off, largely by avoiding the bombast and spectacle of an intergalactic war and instead focusing on a smaller, more human tragedy. A side-effect of the war, as it were.
By ignoring the spectacle, Nelson crafts a far more interesting and engaging story than those stories and films of the "large explosion" school. The protagonist isn't even particularly heroic, and certainly he's no leading man. Instead he's a likeable, somewhat hapless, everyman. A very human protagonist. And by seeing the events through his eyes, it makes the horrors seem more relatable.
Chee's art is quite impressive as well. His style over-all has the impression of comics of an earlier era. His art is clear, with strong storytelling. It's a look that's very grounded in reality, and it fits the mood and tone of Nelson's story well. His tripods are especially interesting. They have an organic, almost insectile look that emphasizes their alienness.