Alienated #3 Review

by Nick Devonald on May 27, 2020

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Chris Wildgoose
Colours: André May
Letters: Jim Campbell

The first two issues of Alienated were great, told from the viewpoint of three teenagers who’ve discovered an alien creature giving them untold power, a temptation to anyone never mind three teenagers who are still discovering themselves. Here at CTG we’ve raved over what a good read they are. This third issue blows the first two out of the water. It’s cemented this series as a must-read.

This issue is narrated from Samantha’s point of view, and Simon Spurrier shows the reader he knows how to hit the feels. All the characters have felt real and well-formed from the moment they first appeared on the page but here Spurrier helps the reader understand Samantha, why she is the way she is and in the process make us care for her.

Samantha’s story is one of teenage regret, and whether or not the reader has experienced this first hand it’s a tale we are all too familiar with. But the real point of this issue is not to understand Samantha’s origin it’s to see what happens next. Given Chip’s powers and the possibilities that these offer up to her, it becomes a moral story, a coming of age moment where a choice between good or bad, and all those murky grey areas in between, is pushed to the forefront and it’s Samantha’s choice that becomes the crux of the issue. Chip is the ultimate temptation, giving our protagonists the power to do whatever they want consequence free. And Samantha has been let down in the past. She would be within her rights to take revenge, and no-one would judge her for it. Whether or not she does is an incredible character-defining moment. It also offers her unexpected insight into Chips' purpose on Earth.

Alienated is an interesting comic. While on the surface it’s about three teenagers who discover an alien and then have to decide how to handle the temptations it offers. But it works on many more, deeper levels than that. It offers a running commentary on modern society and it’s obsession with social media, it takes a deep look at how different people behave when offered untold temptation, an in-depth look at the murky grey area between right and wrong. It achieves this in many ways but one of its strengths is having such a believable cast of characters, both our protagonists and the supporting cast.

On another level the secrets our three Sam’s are hiding, about Chips' existence, and their role in Leon’s disappearance, are starting to unravel. It helps to build the tension as the story progresses.

Chris Wildgoose’s art is fantastic. He brings the characters to life, showing their feelings and telling as much of the story as the words, if not more. There’s a fantastic section where we’re learning Samantha’s story that Wildgoose tells the story through his art, not a single word tells the story, it’s a great piece of storytelling. Then there’s Chips design, it’s so otherworldly and excellent. Seeing Samantha using Chips powers at the start is a highlight of the issue. Wildgoose has also created a series of symbols that make up Chips language, each issue tells us a new definition, and he deserves recognition for what a great job he’s done with this.

André May’s colours are the final piece of this brilliant comic. It brings Wildgoose’s art to life and through the clever and subtle use of different colours for our main characters also is a key part of the storytelling. It’s not just relating to our main heroes, subtle colour differences throughout the tale do add layers to the storytelling. Chips blues and whites take on an even more otherworldly aspect under May’s colours.

Alienated proves, yet again, what an incredible series this is and is undebatably a must-read comic. The focus on Samantha takes the story in an unexpected but welcome direction, Spurrier manages to tell a story which is emotionally impactful with a conclusion that is genuinely unpredictable. Wildgoose’s art is outstanding as always. Read this comic. You won’t regret it.

Our Score:


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