02nd Apr2014

Comic Review: ‘Alien in the Outfield’

by Richard Axtell

Written by Jack Kirby | Art by Mat Barnett | Format: Paperback and/or Digital Download

[Editors Note: Alien in the Outfield is written by Nerdly’s own Jack Kirby. However in order for this review to be fair and balanced that fact was not divulged to our newest team member Richard, who penned this particular review]

Alien-in-the-Outfield-Cover

Baseball. Aliens. The Eighties. Stir together in a bowl, add ink, paper and leave to cook for half an hour on a medium heat. The result? Alien in the Outfield. An alien child has crash landed on earth and has been taken into custody by the FBI. Meanwhile, a young boy called Joel Horowitz is bullied at school and seeks a new way to make friends to help him forget his school yard problems. Although in completely different circumstances, both are drawn to that all American past time that we know as Baseball.

The first issue of Alien in the Outfield, written by Jack Kirby, sets up the premise very well. We can feel the 1980′s vibes bounce off the page towards us as an unhappy Joel Horowitz walks through his school, ignored by everyone; except the bullies who make his life a misery. Soon, things take a very “science fictiony” turn. We are met by crashing spaceships, FBI officers and scientists in white suits as we also follow the storyline of “ET-MVP” an alien who is a victim of circumstance. As scientists and authority figures argue about what to do with him, you can’t help but feel sorry for the little guy, alone and locked up in a cold, empty room.

The story flows very easily between the two characters, emphasised further by the very clear art style provided by Mat Barnett, supporting a wide range of characters from the grumpy FBI agents, funny but hopeless baseball team and the evilly grinning bully as he mocks Horowitz in the street. The story is laid out in front of us, the comic never feeling overcrowded or swamped with too much action pushed onto a page.

I feel this first issue lays a strong foundation for this series. It sets up the scene for a very interesting story in future issues and doesn’t fall into the trap of taking itself too seriously. This light hearted, sci-fi/ sports mash up would be great for a younger audience, especially for those who have just started getting into comics and want an easy, exciting read.

Alien in the Outfield is available now from the official website.

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