I'm struggling to imagine the audience for Frank Mastromauro’s Overtaken. Its premise has promise, but the delivery is more than a little lacking. We frequently, in fiction, get to follow someone on their space adventures. We rarely, however, get to see how that hero's departure impacts their left-behind loved ones. In Overtaken, Mister Will Harden (ha ha) is struggling between mourning his missing wife Jessica and searching for her, both seemingly in vain. The parallel stories do not complement each other well. One moment, you’re watching a man wading through the melted remains of his life. Then the next half of the book has some mild techno babble and vague hints at a grand conspiracy… in space.
There’s some questionable and inconsistent art. For the most part it’s passable. There is one problem that sticks out for me. Maybe it’ll seem petty to you. But we're supposed to believe Will, an extremely fit man, seemingly carved from godly stone, is subsisting solely on pizza and cereal? His figure is that of your typical superhero comic lead. And it just doesn't fit. It's as if Marco Lorenzana is illustrating by rote memorization of how a comic character looks, rather that drawing Will as he should appear in this particular book.
The writing is similarly by-numbers. For instance, there’s a crusty old sheriff who, despite looking neither crusty nor at all older than young Will, refers to the protagonist as "son". It comes across as Mastromauro writing what he expects a character is supposed to say, without considering appropriateness. I can recognize the potential drama of the book. It comes straight from your typical serialized television tale. But basically nothing happens in this issue. And it is just impossible to feel anything for the characters as a result, despite the writer’s labored efforts.
One scene commits the sin of using the phrase "as you know" to deliver exposition to a character who -- if he already knows the exposited info -- doesn't need to hear the exposition. Add to that some minor grammar problems, and the script feels weak.
The book as a whole is fine, focusing in on a small human tragedy, and then zooming out to the much larger intrigue of some kind of space opera. And the point where it zooms feels like the book shrugging its shoulders at you. “You probably want to see the space stuff, huh?” the script seems to be saying. “Well, okay. Never mind that there’s nothing to show you up there.”
All-in-all, just a very bland read, though inoffensively so. A mild curiosity at best.
[button btn_url="" btn_color="violet" btn_size="large" btn_style="default" btn_outlined="no" link_target="blank" link_rel="" icon_left="" icon_right=""]Score: 2/5[/button]
Overtaken #2 Writer: Frank Mastromauro Artist: Marco Lorenzana Colorist: Justice and Enrica Eren Angiolini Publisher: Aspen Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/30/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital