Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cowboys & Aliens-Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, Andrew Foley, Fred Van Lente, Dennis Calero, Luciano Lima

Cowboys & Aliens
Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, Andrew Foley, Fred Van Lente, Dennis Calero, Luciano Lima. HarperCollins/It, Jun 28 2011, $15.99
ISBN 9780062079077

In 1873 an alien spacecraft commanded by Commander Dar of the House of Dar crashes in the Arizona Territory. Dar sees an opportunity so he leads his army on an attack on Fort Larrabie. The easy victory coupled with the occupation of Silver City affirm Dar’s belief that his race can conquer this backwater planet with ease and that the earthlings probably do not even deserve slave status, but the few surviving will be placed in servitude. As soon as the rest of the armada arrives earth will be history.

Dar fails to understand the strange bedfellow resistance movement that suddenly comes to life when Zeke and Miss Verity make a deal with the Apaches War Hawk and No-Name. Abetting the outgunned humans is emerald-skinned female slave of Dar, Kai, who defects to what looks like the losing side. Zeke and Kai are attracted to one another as is War Hawk and Verity too. Guerilla warfare and Apache attacks have Dar reeling but a weaseling Quisling sells out the humans.

As the top of the cover states: “The graphic novel that inspired the film”; ergo this is a reprint of the 2006 comic rather than a novelization of the movie. The action-packed story line is a fun rendition of Starships Troopers and War of the Worlds with the iconic twist that the Apache were about to battle the white invaders when the ship crashed. Although there is some idealistic naivety that the alliance would survive in victory or defeat rather than the post realism of the allies’ schism after WWII (in victory) or crushed morale (in defeat), readers will enjoy this fine western science fiction thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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