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E.I. #1

By Percival Constantine
March 12, 2007 - 22:45


Following an alien invasion, all the nations of the world band together to create a one-world government. One year later, the humans are still fighting against the alien invaders, and the story focuses on one soldier, Nate. After his squad apprehends one of the aliens, they interrogate him to discover that he’s actually forced to fight against his will. The alien, Grzzt, agrees to rebel against his captors and aid the humans in their fight. But to do that, all mammals must be able to communicate effectively. Grzzt’s plan involves injecting all mammals with technology that will allow them to communicate with each other.

E.I. opens fairly typically with an alien invasion by bug-like creatures. The concept of Grzzt helping all mammals to unite against the invaders is an interesting one and it does help to set the book apart from other alien invasion stories. But why this is an effective tool is never really explained. Nate and another character, Dr. Berenyi, stress to their superiors that they never would have escaped the invaders had Grzzt not injected their dogs with the chips. But when looking at the scene, the dogs did nothing but bicker with each other and say that the aliens were on their tail. Even when they were confronted by the invaders, it was Grzzt and Nate who defeated them without the help of the dogs. The ending of the book, when the human collaborators are revealed, the book takes too much of a political stance. The collaborators bear a very strong resemblance to some prominent Republican leaders and are given horrible, heavy-handed political dialogue. These leaders are also brutally murdered by the animals in such a way that makes the entire scene useless and gratuitous. I may be a liberal, but this is just too much and it completely took me out of the story.

Fontes’ artwork has its strengths and weaknesses. There are some very good action scenes and his story-telling is pretty strong. Faces, however, are not his strong suit. Many characters look extremely similar. The coloring is slightly off in a few places. One of the soldiers is identified as Korean and has far too much yellow coloring in her skin tone. Nate’s coloring also has a tendency to shift. In some panels, the coloring makes his race look white, in others more Latino. There needs to be a bit more consistency in this area of the artwork.

Last Updated: June 23, 2021 - 00:45

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