Overtaken #1 (Aspen)

Overtaken

Rating: 2/5 – A real missed opportunity to get readers hooked.

At least it only cost $1.  This could be a textbook example of how NOT to write a #1 issue.   In issue #1 a writer should be building the world and introducing the characters and conflict.  Throw in some action, make us care about the characters and what happens to them.  Most importantly, it should leave me so that I cannot wait to buy #2.  I’ve read other comics by Frank Mastromauro, in particular Shrugged #1 (2006) definitely set up the world, the characters, the conflict, and made me WANT to buy #2, so I know he can do it, he just didn’t do it here.

Here the solicitation blurb:

Journalist Will Harden is well equipped for most situations, but nothing can prepare him for what’s about to come. Relocating from the big city to a small mountain town with his wife, everything is turned upside-down the moment she goes missing. Are the rumors of alien abductions true or did something far worse happen to his wife? No matter the cause, Harden will not stop until he uncovers the truth, or dies trying.

None of the stuff in bold happens in the 1st issue.  I wanted to read THAT stuff.  What I got was a few incomprehensible pages of red aliens vs. blue aliens “Long Before Man”.  Then we cut to 14 pages of fairly commonplace interaction between Will Harden and his wife as they assimilate into the small mountain town of Turtle Creek.  The action involved a 2 page chase scene where will is running down a teenager to ask him some questions, for no reason that is made readily apparent in this issue.

Nothing in #1 delivered on the “high concept” of the series.  Nothing particularly grabbed me and made me want to buy #2.  I’m assuming that the action will pick up in #2 but the pacing here was terrible.  There should have been elements (bolded in the solicit text above) woven into this issue.  Acting as an amateur editor, there are at least 8-10 pages that could have been cut from this issue and replaced with something to build suspense and make me want to come back for #2.   Issue #1 was $1, at that price point I’d hope a lot of people would say “It’s only a buck, I’ll give it a try!”   The missed opportunity is that there was not anything in #1 to get me psyched enough about the issue to come back and pay $3.99 for #2.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – bob@comicspectrum.com
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