The cover: General Sarigar has got blasters in both hands, mowing down everything before him. He howls in rage as he fires, unaware that someone is targeting him, as the reader is looking through a sniper’s scope. I know this is the most generic idea for a cover, having the hero screaming as he or she fires a gun, but it works every time for me if it’s a member of the Alien Legion. Penciller Larry Stroman, inker Carl Potts, and colorist Hi-Fi makes this a winner. I like the fragments of yellow plasm coming out of the general’s guns; they look as though they’d burn you if you touched them. Overall grade: A
The story: This issue continues the war among the different clans of Harkilons, with an ubber-military class threatening to destroy the Legion ships if they aren’t allowed access to search refugee fleets to find an astro map that contains the location of the Harkilon homeworld. Naturally the Legion isn’t going to allow this. There’s some nice dramatic buildup to the upcoming battle, with Jugger being reunited with the last person in the world he wants to see. Tamara’s B-story continues with her daughter, but it’s going to become the A-story quickly. Page 12 introduces some great new characters that are disarmingly positive that add a new twist to this battle. For a book you think would be a gritty, battle-centric book, and it is, the ending of this book takes the battle to a cosmic level. That was a cool cliffhanger. Chuck Dixon has created such a fun and entertaining read! Overall grade: A
The art: The pencils from Larry Stroman and the inks from Carl Potts produce some amazing alien looks. I always need this book to present a wide variety of species in ships or on worlds I’ve never seen. I’m hungry for the alien part of Alien Legion. Boy, does this team deliver. Look at that opening splash page showing ships under fire and in different states of destruction. Check out that massive monster on the second page delivering an ultimatum. Gaze upon the alien bridge of the Piecemaker. It’s only three pages in and the visuals bring this story to amazing life. Jugger’s reunion on Pages 4 and 5 starts as this deathly dramatic scene that morphs into wonderful comedy because of his reactions. Great stuff! When the action increases it’s all the glorious mayhem any reader would want, and, again, that final page is so utterly alien I can’t wait to see where the visuals go next. Overall grade: A+
The colors: I’m incredibly pleased that Thomas Mason decided to make this book boldly bright. So many modern books have chosen to go the dark and dreary route, hiding their characters and actions in darkness to increase the grittiness of the story. Not Mason. This is supposed to be the future. I want the future to be bright. And it is. But this is war, and even in this setting the colors radiate. Nothing is hidden. I love the art, I’ve been a fan of Stroman and Potts’s work for decades. Mason is new to me and he’s making that pair’s work truly beautiful. Overall grade: A+
The letters: This book’s many texts were crafted by Tom Williams and they include dialogue, original Harkilon text, and yells, of which there are many. The text is tiny, but readable. I’m assuming it has to be this small so that details in the art won’t be covered. Overall grade: A
The final line: Always putting the alien in alien warfare. Space has never been so exciting. Overall grade: A
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.