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Crusade

04/09/2018 - Uncategorized
Crusade

Script: Michael Cook

Art: Christian Gorny

Inks: Christian Gorny

Colours: Nick Abadzis

Lettering: Woodrow Phoenix

 

 

Note

This comic appeared in the Aliens magazine printed in the UK between July 1993 to February 1994, however the magazine closed down before the series finished, as a result only eight of the ten planned parts was ever printed.

Synopsis

A squad of elite corporate mercenaries are dispatched to Britain after the Alien infestation of Earth (see Aliens: Outbreak) to ascertain why there appears to be no Alien presence there.

Review

Obviously there will be a major problem with this review as this series remains incomplete, however the bulk of the story exists, so this gives a fairly good idea of the overall story.

The basic plot is set in a post apocalyptic Britain where the population live as warring tribes.  The church has survived and is somehow controlling the Aliens.

This scenario is filled with concepts and themes that would make an interesting story, if it was explored, explained, and expanded on properly.  Unfortunately the writers fail to do this and in a story of this length there is little room to do so.

As I read this story I realised it was another ‘crossover’ (see general thoughts for my feelings on this), this time it’s the post apocalyptic ‘Mad Max’ world meets Aliens.  While this could work, especially as this story is set after the events of the first trilogy of books (after the Earth has been infested with Aliens), it really didn’t work for me, so let me explain why:

Firstly the idea that Britain has slid into an anarchic ‘Mad Max’ style country in a few decades. There is no real reason given for this in the story, and this for me is the real problem.  How did the country descend into anarchy?  All this has all occurred in less than 100 years (I worked this figure out from the events of Alien as there are British crew on the Nostromo, complete with Union Jack stylized badges) and to the extent that the general public don’t even remember the name Britain anymore!  It just seems the writers liked the concept of a post apocalyptic world, but had no idea how to justify, or realise it properly.

The more you I thought about this yet further questions arose: How does this society survive? Where do they get their food from? How has the Church survived the anarchy?  None of these points are addressed which I think effects the overall story (perhaps some of this would be explained in the final two parts). For example: the tribes talk in their own English slang, none of which makes much sense as nothing is explained, how am I supposed to know who or what they hell they are talking about?

As the name suggests this is another Aliens comic that employs religious themes, but unfortunately I didn’t think it was as effective as other stores that have used this premise, such as Salvation or Sacrifice.  In this story the Church is simply the element containing the Aliens which I assume would collapse releasing them toward the end of the story, which has become rather a clichéd trope in the Aliens comic universe.

Another major issue, for me, is one that has occurred numerous times in Aliens comics before; that writers decide it’s vital to have the characters run around in their underwear.  Why they keep doing this I have no idea, especially as Aliens are blasted at close range and not a speck of highly acidic blood ever touches them.

The artwork was also a let-down I wasn’t a huge fan of the style or colouring, but it was decent enough. However, there was a severe lack of detail, most of London is covered in smoke or fog for some reason, and I can only assume that the artist didn’t have time to fill in any background detail, and I continued to get this feeling this was a rushed project as I continued to read.  Both plot and art just seemed rushed, everything just seemed like it had been thrown together with no proper editing.

Another minor nit-pick; I wasn’t a great fan of the weapons either; some appeared to resemble smart guns from Aliens (1986) whilst other weapons resembled M240 Flame Throwers with an old school extending TV aerial replacing the fuel canister which to me  just looked daft.

So in conclusion we have a fairly confused plot and setting mixed with some mediocre, basic artwork. Overall this whole story really feels rushed, both in writing and artwork.

 

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