If it didn’t already, thanks to its first two issues, Dan Boultwood’s Titan book It Came! would have me at its cover. Oh sure, it’s a glorious pastiche of an old 1950s B-movie poster, but the fact that it also has emblazoned on its facade the phrase, “GUSSET RENDING ANNIHILATION FROM BEYOND THE STARS!” ... I mean, you just don’t get such solid solicitations like that these days! Therein lies the charm of this fantastic little oddball title, and the reason you should be reading it. Of course, It Came! delivers more than just catchy and endearing cover blurbs; it also cranks out simultaneously chuckle-eliciting and woefully-old-fashioned humor, all cast through a tea and pipe smoke-stained, intrinsic British sensibility, the like of which I haven’t seen since George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman at the Charge, but set within an almost Douglas Adamsian framework. And goddamn does it work beautifully.
This time, our haughty hero and “Space Genius,” Dr. Boy Brett (can there BE a more hilariously chauvinist name ... other than, say, Prof. Rock Testosteronington) and his lady-chum Doris are on the run from a flying saucer.
Despite Boy’s best efforts navigating the winding roads of the English countryside, however, they just can’t shake the mysterious alien robot GRURK’s floating death machine, and are forced to find solace in the waiting arms of a nearby British army outpost, the tenants of which see similar results with the alien craft during armed combat.
Throughout it all, Boultwood peppers his story with these amazingly quippy little asides, mannerisms and bits of bygone slang, none of which could be pulled off without the rich filter of the assumed swarthy British accent with which this book should be read. He has truly captured the heart of this period of film and place, while clearly quite lovingly poking fun at it.
In a way, It Came! is almost like a comic book version of MST3K, but one in which the film takes the piss out of itself with blatant stereotypes, thickly-lacquered misogyny and the occasional thinly-veiled dirty joke. And yet, it also delivers on a genuinely well-told story with great action and no small amount of fun.
The visuals here (also from Boultwood) are crisp and clean, and yet - like the story - the art doesn’t take itself too seriously. As I’ve mentioned before, It Came! benefits from a perhaps more cartoonish symmetry, but that merely serves to play upon its unequalled comedic timing.
Pleasantly breaking everything up is Boultwood’s continued use of these silly little advertisements for things like Reddy Teddy chewing gum (“Approved by men with sideburns the country over”) and life-like “plarstic” children substitutes (“Also available in: GIRL”), not to mention his postscript features, which further flesh-out this title as an old sci-fi movie parody.
These little touches, along with its on-point sense of humor, make this book (one of many great Titan titles out right now) a firm favorite at the moment. If you too enjoy a ridiculous old British period yarn steeped in science fiction lunacy, where the very soul of Queen and Country is at stake, then set your phaser to F-ZAPPO and pick up It Came!
Writer/Artist: Dan Boultwood Esq. Publisher: Titan Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/9/13