Friday, April 3, 2015

Review - UFOlogy #1


"The impossible's only impossible until someone sees it ain't."

There's a certain inevitability that there's other life in the universe. How that life manifests itself here on Earth remains to be seen, but there is an expectation that it will happen at some point. How and when are the two big questions that will have to be answered. Throw in how people will respond to the arrival of alien life remains to be seen and UFOlogy #1 from BOOM! Studios wants to try and offer at least a possible response. The issue is written by James Tynion IV and Noah J. Yuenkel, illustrated by Matthew Fox, colored by Adam Metcalfe and lettered by Colin Bell.

Becky Finch never wanted to be special. She just wanted to be a normal high school student in the small, Midwestern town of Mukawgee. Malcolm Chamber wanted something more. A destiny. An answer from the stars. When Becky is marked by an alien’s touch, she’ll stumble into a mystery she never wanted. A mystery that almost ripped apart both their parents’ lives 12 years ago. She’ll need the help of her eccentric young classmate, Malcolm, as she finds the power within herself to uncover the truth.

UFOlogy #1 spends a lot of time living in a world that's weird, which helps the book work on multiple levels. Tynion IV and Yuenkel have tapped into the sense of wonderment regarding life out in the universe as a means of giving the characters some depth. Becky comes across as the somewhat typical high school student struggling to find out what to do after graduation, while Malcolm is a little more unhinged and conspiratorial in many ways. While much of the issue takes place against the backdrop of a seemingly small town in the midwest, Tynion IV and Yuenkel prove that crazy things can still happen in such a setting. What does happen is a little outlandish, yet it's such a scenario that automatically sets the tone of the series; a tone that will prove to be a mix of intriguing and zany.

Adding to the zaniness is Fox's illustrations, which take an approach that emphasizes the mundane juxtaposed against the galactic. Mukawgee is very much a sleepy town and Fox depicts it as such, relying on a somewhat simple illustrative style that underscores the quietness of the town itself. As things start to get a little strange, Fox's style takes an appropriate turn as well, moving from a tighter focus on characters and setting to a style that's much looser and and befitting of an alien's arrival. Characters in general have an interesting look to them that reminds the reader that UFOlogy #1 isn't a book that's meant to be taken too seriously. Metcalfe helps exaggerate the strange events through the use of bright colors that give the cosmic events more substance and contrast with the more traditional color palette for events earlier in the book.

UFOlogy #1 does everything a first issue should do. It offers up a place, characters and a twist at the end that offers up plenty of questions to pique the reader's interest in continuing on. Tynion IV and Yuenkel are clearly having a pretty good time in the first issue, starting a tale that promises to make the average, everyday life of a stereotypical teen much more adventurous. Fox's illustrations are simple but effective for the content of the story, offering up characters who are defined sharply and boast angular features. UFOlogy #1 is an interesting first issue that promises a much deeper conspiracy than what's presented in the first issue and it's one that should reward the reader.

UFOlogy #1 is in stores now with interiors below.









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