Miles Away tells the story of teenager Maxwell Miles, who “feels like an alien” in school and "fights them" after school. Miles' parents disappeared when he was very young, and he often feels isolated from the other kids at school. Miles has friends and a caring family (in the form of a grandmother and little sister), but he’s always been a shy and awkward kid, so when he started to develop an unusual super power (He can mimic any physical feat he witnesses.), it was both a wonderful gift and another burden on his young back. Throughout the pages of Miles Away, the heroic, young Miles is recruited by a secretive, “cloak and dagger” organization (the Bureau of Ultimate Underground Technology or B.U.U.T.), fights against an alien invasion and pursues the truth behind his parents' mysterious disappearance.
Miles Away has a lot going for it. We’ve discussed many times at FBC how it sometimes feels as though the all-ages comic genre has become massively over-shadowed in comic book shops by books filled with violence and sex appeal. Given that comics have a long history of being a favorite childhood passion for many and that young comic book readers bring new blood into what some think is a shrinking fan base, young fans and all-ages books are important for the entire medium. This is something that isn’t lost on Montgomery, and Miles Away is a fantastic and exciting book for fans of any age. Along with a great story and a relatable lead character, the book features vibrant and thrilling visuals from the book’s art team and some excellent cover art by Brian Denham. Montgomery and company also provide the graphic novel equivalent of an entire Blu-ray “extras” disc in the form of an exhaustively detailed behind-the-scenes look at the book’s origins, characters, and creative history.
Honestly, the only critique I could offer would be regarding the long and complex introduction at the beginning of Miles Away, which explains, point-by-point, the setting, major players, and relationships featured in the graphic novel. It is an incredibly specific description, but I have a feeling that most readers will find it confusing to dive into this wealth of exposition before reading a single page of the comic. Many readers will probably skip past it, so that they can dive straight into the story, and I don’t believe that will affect their enjoyment of Miles Away one bit. All-in-all, Miles Away is strong enough without the intro and is definitely a book that comic book fans, young and old, will be sure to get a kick out of!
Finally, Fanboy Comics has been lucky enough to receive an exclusive Miles Away video message from Anthony Montgomery for our readers, so be sure to check it out below:
For more information about Miles Away and a free preview of the book, be sure to check out the official Antarctic Press website. You can also find Antarctic Press on Facebook.
'Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer