More than any other book that Aspen Comics has released during their 10 year anniversary celebration the fans decidedly voiced their interest in “Overtaken.” The alien abduction series from writer Frank Mastromauro and artist Marco Lorenzana in an online vote was chosen by the fans over “Awaken Skies” to be the seventh book in the “10 for 10” publishing initiative. Upon release the fans will be rewarded for their excellent choice.
In “Overtaken” #1, Will and Jesse Harden have moved from the big city, Chicago, IL, to the small town, Turtle Creek, MN. They expect life to take on a quiet, low-key pace. Will is a reporter of some acclaim who begins investigating some of the local goings on in Turtle Creek. Jesse is helping her parents out at the general store. Seems like life as usual, but there are some unexplained occurrences happening including people disappearing without a trace.
What is soon to be revealed is that these abductions tie into an inter-species war occurring on a planet far from Earth. Beings have waged a war in gladiatorial combat for many millennia. The battles always end in a stalemate. What purpose will abducted humans serve in the endless combat? Could these aliens use the abductees to turn the tide? How will Will and Jesse get roped into this otherworldly adventure? The book hooks you so that you want to come back to get those answers.
Mastromauro introduces the world of “Overtaken” first in the ancient conflict of aliens that spins down to the lives of the Hardens. Dropping from the epic scale of alien war to the intimate personal lives of the Hardens is a nice transition to introduce the main protagonists on the edge of entering this story that is bigger than life. Will and Jesse are just regular people in a small town on the verge of the extraordinary.
The alien abduction story builds through the issue. It is just background noise here and there that something is going on. The story is not overly focused on the subject but the hints give it more meaning as the story progresses.
Lorenzana’s artwork captures that average life in small town America. The setting is calm and serene with small stores lining the streets and the people look like your neighbors and friends. It is this nice lull that makes the events coming that much more intense. The artwork grounds the story in a realistic view of the world. It is a nice visual that makes what is coming all the more believable.
The aliens combating each other as the story opens have a humanoid look to them but it is evolved. Their appearance looks as though the billions of years of combat have changed them to make them better fighters and warriors.
“Overtaken” #1 is not some rehashing of crop circles and strange alien abduction of farmers in the middle of nowhere. The first issue is key to establishing the lives of these characters about to be thrust in the astonishing war of worlds. On the surface you can see the tropes of alien abduction stories, but in the subtext Mastromauro and Lorenzana are building to something else entirely. Just like all the books that Aspen Comics has been creating throughout 2013 with all their new “10 for 10” titles, the world of “Overtaken” is ripe for fantastic storytelling and off to a great start.
Find "Overtaken" #1 at your local comic book retailer. Click here to use the Comic Shop Locator and find your nearest store.