01st Jun2016

‘Independence Day #3’ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Victor Gischler | Art by Alex Shibao | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp


I think to date this series has been receiving what I will diplomatically call mixed reviews. My reviews have not been mixed at all, in the sense that I think it has been a poor book. The comic book marketplace is a crowded one, and I genuinely don’t like to see books appear that don’t add any value, that don’t really offer anything. That being said, having now watched the (5 minute!) trailer for the new Independence Day film, the context of this series makes a little more sense, as does its choice of lead character. Seeing as how this mini-series was created to link the first film to the upcoming second, perhaps it would have made more sense to have released this book after that last trailer came out. Anyway, fresh eyes and all that…

Last issue saw Captain Joshua Adams and his ‘away’ team of marines board a recently discovered underwater alien vessel, on which they had to fight their way both in and out. They managed to steal a load of extremely powerful alien weaponry, and to secure the body of a dead alien which they have brought back to their submarine so it can be examined. As you can imagine, the crew and passengers aboard said sub are less than thrilled to be locked in deep underwater with anything, let alone something alien. While the body is being examined, Captain Adams and team return back to the sea to try and see exactly why the aliens have been drilling on the ocean floor. They infiltrate the alien structure and plant explosives, which go off but at a cost….

Better. This was a stronger issue both script and art wise. Script wise because we actually had some decent dialogue and some actual story beats that we could follow, and art wise we had both good and consistent art, with Alex Shibao replacing the four artists from last issue. This time round the characters actually had some, er, character and we had a nice mix of action and talking throughout, and it all made sense. Well, nearly all. I still keep coming back to the fact we are told Joshua Adams has a fear of water, yet he was both chosen for this extremely important underwater mission despite that, and has shown on several occasions that, while he might have a mild dislike of water, in no way does he have a phobia. This issue again reinforces that. I know we are supposed to say ‘what a guy’ when he faces his fear but after half a dozen times I start to think he’s putting it on a bit.

I don’t know much about new artist Alex Shibao, but his art style is smooth and clean and very pleasing on the eye. Likenesses are captured well, panel composition and character poses are also noticeably good, and the big splash panels are beautifully rendered. Big thumbs up to that change. I’ll be honest, I thought this book was doomed to slowly sink into oblivion, despite a very recognisable brand and a very good writer in Victor Gischler. It’s still not a particularly great piece of work, being a little bit too generic sci-fi (but then again its source material is just a big budget take on generic sci-fi) but this issue is a huge improvement on the previous two.

This is more like it. I’m really hoping the book can improve even further next issue and show what good writing and art can do with this source material.

Then WE, can celebrate OUR, Independence Day (comic). Ahem.

*** 3/5

Independence Day #3 is out now from Titan Comics


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