‘Alienated:’ Advance Trade Paperback Review

Alienated, on the simplest of levels, could be described as the anti-E.T. It’s about three loners in high school, each with a variation of the name Sam, who discover an alien entity in the woods and find that their innermost thoughts and memories become linked to it and each other. One Sam is an Anonymous self-styled vlogger who wants viral fame. Another Sam is a young woman who just wants to get out of this small town and reset her life. The third Sam is a Pakistani kid who is gay and tries to fill the void in his soul by trying to please literally everyone. They share a common trait in that they are holding on to deep-seated levels of anger, and now with inexplicable psychic abilities, the question is, how will they use that power?

This is a story about anger, the kind that eats away at you and changes you if not dealt with. The kind that’s left to fester in our youth of today with few resources to help fix it. This is a complex story not only about where we draw the line with actions that are justifiable, but also where we draw the line of forgiveness and redemption.

Simon Spurrier, a remarkable storyteller, is also incredibly sympathetic to each of his character's journeys. He slowly unravels each character's history and motivations in powerful and emotional passages. It’s difficult not to become invested in this short series. It’s difficult not to want to think about it and talk about it, because it really does go there. Plus, Wildgoose’s art and May’s coloring is absolutely stellar. There are images that are stirring in the power they hold.

Spurrier, over the last couple of years, has put together some incredible series with deep-seated social issues peppered in. This is not only particularly good sci-fi, but he uses the sci-fi to dissect an aspect of humanity that can’t go on the way that it is.

Creative Team: Simon Spurrier (writer), Chris Wildgoose (artist), André May (colors), Jim Campbell (letters), Scott Newman (series designer), Chelsea Roberts (collection designer), Ramiro Portnoy and Gavin Gronenthal (assistant editors), eric Harburn (editor)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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