I feel like I read two different comics when I read Alien Hand Syndrome. One story follows some anthropomorphic animals in a space ship fighting another space ship. Their ship gets so damaged they have to go into stasis while the ship repairs and of course they pick earth to do this on. The other story follows an enhanced human that’s breaking into some secret government faculty trying to steal a device. He comes up against a super solider and they fight for the rest of the issue. I completely understand what I read, I just don’t understand the point of the story. I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately, but the only connecting piece to this story is the location and it’s not actually touched upon in this issue. Why do the aliens have to get back home? Why do they have to sleep for thousands of years to make sure that they can get home and would it still matter then? I mean you have to get home, but you can wait that long? Wouldn’t everyone be dead and wouldn’t whatever conflict was happening have ended or changed?
On the flip side, we’re not told why the thief needs the device he’s stealing. He’s supposed to be our hero, but the first thing we see him doing is stealing and killing. I didn’t root for him. I didn’t root for the guy trying to kill him either, but I think I should have rooted for at least one of them. The worst part? I don’t know what the title has to do with anything. That’s the most confusing part to me. Will it be revealed? Did I miss the reveal because it didn’t make sense to me?
The narration is overkill on this issue. There’s already a lot of dialogue, but then the narration kicks it up a notch. Our thief tells us how clever he is rather than the art showing us. After a few pages it really wares on the nerves and so maybe I zoned out while reading something important. The characters have no depth. They all say pretty much what you’d expect them to say in any given situation. They come across like non-playable characters in a video game rather than flushed out characters that will drive the story.
The art is not for me. It’s actually not that bad, but it’s definitely not a style I like. The animals are kind of creepy looking and I wasn’t a fan of the character designs in general. The book is in all black and white and I will say that it’s the best part of the art. It’s not perfect as some panels are draped in black a bit too much, but it has the most polish for sure. Again though, not for me.
With there being so many indie books to read and check out I don’t really bother with books that don’t grab my attention in a positive way. This story has a lot of work to do in order to catch my attention and so I won’t be back for future issues. There’s just too much to read to spend time on a series that I’m already not enjoying and while that’s pretty harsh it shows how important a first impression is for an indie comic. You hear all the time that people will give this or that Marvel, Image or DC title “X” amount of issues, but with indie books you’re lucky to get two. I applaud the effort, but again, this book isn’t for me and I have to wonder who it is for?
Alien Hand Syndrome #1 Creator: Justin Cappello Publisher: Insane Comics Price: $3.25 (P), $1.49 (D) Format: Print/Digital