ET-ER #1

by Nick Devonald on April 22, 2020

Writer: Jeff McComsey
Artist: Javier Pulido
Letters: Dezi Sienty

ET-ER is described as Men in Black meets ER, and that is exactly what readers will find in this first issue. It’s an ongoing series which will bring in lots of different writers and artists who will all take their own spin on this insane hospital.  While each issue will tell a standalone story this debut issue will play a pretty integral part of introducing the hospital and basic premise. This debut issue does a great job of introducing the hospital, the setup for the series going forward, a number of presumably key characters, as well as having a good time doing all of this. That’s a lot to do in one issue, but Jeff McComsey handles that admirably, due in no small part to this being an oversized issue.

Going back to its original description as Men in Black meets ER it’s safe to say of those two fanbases it’s the Men in Black fans who are going to get the most out of this. When this comic is at its best is when it’s embracing the more ridiculous and bonkers parts of this set-up.

It’s an interesting premise for a series, and no doubt we’ll have some increasingly crazy and whacky stories as new creators get involved. And like all anthologies there’s bound to be some fantastic stories and some less well received ones. But as a first issue it succeeds in intriguing the reader enough to return for future issues, as well as setting the story up well enough that future issues won’t need to.

Jeff McComsey and Javier Pulido are both listed as storytellers in the credits, showing that while McComsey is the writer and Pulido the artist, they both play a big role in the overall story that plays out here. At no point does the story take itself too seriously. There is also, intentionally I might add, a feeling that this is just a typical, mundane day. Yes, there might be aliens, with some bonkers concepts, but it is played like these are everyday occurrences.

Some of the ideas feel like they might be playing a little safe though. The introduction of Dr. Chen to the alien hospital is not the most original and feels familiar. It would have been nice to see even more of the aliens in the hospital and go for some totally crazy designs. Being a comic there are no restraints like budgets, the biggest restraint is the creator’s imaginations. McComsey and Pulido both show they have plenty of imagination so it’s a shame that they didn’t go all out on that initial introduction to the hospital.

The art style matches the tone of the story really well, and thanks to some of the alien designs and bright colours, as well as the style of the art, gives off some Futurama vibes. Javier Pulido was a good choice for artist.

It’s definitely an interesting premise for a series, with different creators telling their own stories in each subsequent issue. Early days for sure, but this debut issue does a great job of introducing the hospital and staff. McComsey and Pulido make a great team and manage to keep the ideas feeling fresh and increasingly bonkers. The only criticism is that it feels a little safe at times. Definitely worth picking this issue up if only to see where the rest of the series goes.

Our Score:


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