Created by: Stephen Levinson
Adapted from a story by: Stephen Levinson and FJ DeSanto
Written by: Adrian Wassel and David Booher
Art and Color by: Nick Robles
Letters by: Deron Bennett
Published by: Vault Comics
The Galaxy’s Worst. Earth’s Best. Sort Of.
“Tasked with capturing the most wanted fugitive in the universe, Ben Madsen (from Arcadia, California) must track his mark through a city filled with dangerous aliens (definitely not from Arcadia, California)—right here on Earth.”
In Alien Bounty Hunter #1, fugitive recovery specialist Ben Madsen makes his comic book debut, chasing a fugitive through downtown Arcadia, tearing up a couple city blocks in the process. Ben’s got a techno wiz sidekick named Brooks who uses drones and gadgets to lend the assist here and there.
Ben’s one hell of a skiptracer, but his methods cause more damage than his bounties cover. If he doesn’t hit a payday soon, he and his elderly Aunt Rita will likely be out on their backsides. Fortunately, Ben gets approached by Homeland Security with a bounty that is enough to pay off his Aunt Rita’s whole building.
All he has to do is leave his sick old aunt alone in Arcadia and travel to Alaska to apprehend one fugitive, whom Homeland Security has labeled a bioterrorist, and for whom DHS won’t produce a mug shot or even a name. Easy peasy. Nothing odd there, right?
This is a really strong opening salvo. The characters are interesting and develop nicely without a ton of narrative exposition. Dialog feels natural and unforced. The conflict is introduced, and the rising action is teased for the second chapter. I am hopeful that the writing team of Adrian Wassel and David Booher is able to keep up the pace and wrap this thing up with a satisfying conclusion in just 5 chapters.
The story has a definite MIB vibe, with some Dog the Bounty Hunter, Alien Nation, and BPRD thrown in for good measure.
Nick Robles (Maze Runner, Clockwork Angels) does a brilliant job on art duties. Robles captures the unique smoggy, rainy, beautifully disgusting orange and yellow Los Angeles sunset, before transitioning to blues and purples of an impossibly deep Alaskan sky. Characters, human and alien, have unique, consistent designs. Robles pulls out a few interesting panel and gutter tricks that add tension and move the action sequences along.
There are a couple things I wish I didn’t know about this book. The first is that it’s basically a placeholder for a potential future Hollywood film. The second is that the series is only slated for 5 issues. That means this is essentially a 5-issue pilot being released to gauge interest for a different project. I wish I didn’t know these things because I liked the book.
Be that as it may, pick this one up if you’re into sci-fi, crime procedurals, and action.
Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? Yep! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them.