Written by Victor Gischler | Art by Rodney Ramos, Ivan Rodriguez, Renarto Arlem, Rui Woberto | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp
My review of the first issue of this series was quite harsh, which is rare for me as I always try to see the positives in any book. I fully understand the writers and artists still do a full shift if we like their final product or not, so I don’t like to overly criticise. I do think Victor Gischler has a tough job anyway, breathing life into a licensed comic that doesn’t even feature the main characters from the film that it is licensed from. Clearly the Will Smith ‘use of likeness’ fees were very high, plus we now know his character will not feature in the film sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, so we have instead a cast of very forgettable second bananas.
The lead characters are Captain Joshua Adams and Dr Jessica Morgan, who have lead a task force out to a recently discovered underwater alien vessel. This issue Captain Adams takes the squad of marines and enters the ship, only to encounter resistance from aliens still aboard. That resistance translates to pretty much the entire issue being a firefight, as the squad move through the ship encountering the aliens along the way. Throw away dialogue between pretty much faceless and personality-lacking marines (think Star Trek away team redshirts) is intercut with very generic gunfights. The interior of the alien ship, which should have been a dark, mysterious strange locale, becomes just background noise to the uninteresting mayhem in the foreground.
Unfortunately all the same issues I had with the first installment are repeated this time round. We have uninteresting characters (including the aliens) running around a bland location, spouting very generic Aliens-esque dialogue, and shooting guns a lot. We have a lead character who’s look seems to change page to page, lacks any charisma, and keeps disproving the one fact we were told about him to give him any personality at all. That fact is that he is scared of, and hates, water. Last issue he was on a submarine underwater, then in the sea in a suit, this issue he was swept away by water, and then is back in the sea in his suit. Scared of water? not so much. This is just lazy writing, constraints or not.
Also, for some reasons last issue’s artist has disappeared, and this issue has four different artists, never a good sign, It’s usually an indication of struggling to hit deadlines, by either the writer or artist, and is never good for a book struggling for an identity as it is. The art is not bad but just bland. It is generic, lazily laid out (time pressures?), and not really what you hope for from a top level book, which this aspires to be. It is fast food art; ok while you are consuming it, but instantly forgettable. I know Rodney Ramos can do a lot better for a fact.
Going on the first two issues, this title will be a rare misfire for Titan. Expectations for tie-in books are low anyway, but this effort barely even matches that level. Very generic, lacking personality or identity, and adding nothing to the franchise from which it sprang. I know all involved can do, and have done, much better so can only assume there are behind the scenes constraints on what can and can’t be done within the pages of this book.
As things stand, and I can’t see this title improving enough, this is a rare time I would suggest spending your money on other more deserving books.
Independence Day #2 is out now from Titan Comics