Boy Abducted By Aliens Returns – Dave West and Gustavo Vargas (Accent UK)

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The forth book in the Blessed/Cursed series focusing on how someone with super powers may develop extraordinary problems was long awaited. Like the previous books this contains a misleading front cover and an article from the media in the world of the book trying to explain how the incident happened.

The story is that a 15 year old boy with all the normal troubles of bullying and liking a girl way out of is league disappears for seventeen years and returns the same age as when he left. Peter’s super power that he can transform himself into someone else including having their thoughts and voice is nothing new. However, the fact that panic or excitement causes this power and he can turn into animals is. You are completely in Peter’s corner as he tries to cope with involuntarily changing into different things and fighting the instincts, the soul of the person or animal whose body he is inhabiting. It’s not just the situation Peter finds himself in after he gets powers that makes him a likeable character its how he tries so hard to get the girl from the start. There isn’t a wasted word in the dialogue or Peter’s thoughts, they all move the story along and express the suffering and every discovery. Even though this is an eighty page comic the pace is great, the story doesn’t lose its tension, nor it’s focus on Peter and his struggle to be accepted and get his power under control. One thing I didn’t understand is how he can turn into animals but not into girls, surely changing gender is easily than transforming into a different species.

Art wise like the rest of the series this book is in black and white apart from the front and back cover.  The characters all have their own look and there are some great background panels even if they aren’t the most detailed. One particular area of art that impressed me was the eyes as they express fear, anger, doubt, every emotion you can think of. The eyes are that well drawn you could probably get away without seeing the rest of the character’s faces and still tell how they were feeling. Lastly, there is a large variety of panel sizes and shots to show all the action but not at the experience of showing the character’s reactions.

Overall, Peter is a likeable protagonist who struggles to get control of his powers as he chases the girl he loves. The book is well paced, well drawn, especially the eyes and apart from some nit-picks like the lack of explanation of why he can’t turn into a girl, I can’t fault this comic. David Jenkins

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