Cowboys & Aliens (Comic Review)

Title: Cowboys & Aliens
Author: Andrew Foley
Illustrator: Dennis Calero
Number Of Volumes: 1
Pages - 105 Pages

Story: In the Old West, settlers and Native Americans wage a bloody battle for control of the land. But when the Earth is threatened by conquerors from the stars, these sworn enemies must work together to save all humanity. The story follow Zeke Jackson a Cowboy who is on a mission, when he is capture by the Natives the Apaches. As Zeke is probably about to meet his end, and alien ship crashes in the area. Zeke escapes and the aliens killed the remaining Apaches in the area. The alien main leader Commander Dar sees that earth is not protected by any of the rival planets or races. Commander Dar then takes it upon himself to claim ruler of earth. Thus the battle begins for the land between the aliens and cowboys. The problem with the story and the characters is it's not developed enough. You have no idea on the history of the Zeke on who he is, why he does what he does. You don't really know him at all. Commander Dar as the villain is bland and generic. His motives are to conquer and use resources, but why does he do it. What drives him to be that way? The only character who really is developed with good reasons for their action is the alien girl Kai. Kai people were enslaved by Commander Dar and when she breaks free to help Zeke, you understand her motives.

The story felt rushed and with a little more time this could have been a classic. Instead the main focus was action with no substance. It's really disappointing because the beginning started with social commentary on imperialism. It shows examples of Kai's people getting conquered, and the fall of the Native Americans. I was disappointed that this wasn't heavily explored, since this is the theme of the story. The concept of the story is a great idea, but this doesn't deliver. On the plus side, the story brings plenty of action and it's a fun ride. Finally if you're going to add love interest in a story, make sure the characters relationship is developed enough.

Art: I love the art work in this book. We really get the feel of the old west. The atmosphere, detail to the aliens is beautiful to look out. Dennis Calero has created an environment to please both Sci-Fi and Western fans. I love Kai's design and Commander Dar does look threaten, but some aliens are very cliche. Here is a picture from the book below.

Final Grade C-/7.0: Nice concept but poorly executed. The characters have no backstory so you really can't connect with them. The art is good, but some aliens are very cliche and unoriginal. The supporting cast are just there to but you don't know who they are. The theme is not explored as the first few pages started it off as. However it's a fun action pack read but no substance. Final Grade is C-/7.0.