Taking place in 1873, Zeke and his female partner Verity are aiding a convoy heading to Silver City, Arizona. They're attacked by Apache Indians who make their mission difficult to carry out. A flying object appears in the sky and crash lands in the area their battle is taking place. When a squad of Indians investigate, they are killed on sight by an alien race who's mission is to takeover the planet. -summary
Well, I'll just come right out and say, had I read this before watching the live action film which was recently released. I more than likely would have ignored it and moved on to something else. And it's sad too, because I enjoyed the movie, plus I kind of have an interest in Fred van Lente's work (Marvel Zombies 3) in which, he does play a role in writing this story along with Andrew Foley. Created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, Cowboys & Aliens is a sci-fi action romp that features the usual man vs. monster, but it also places mankind in sort of a role reversal, by giving those who think they are superior to another culture a taste of their own medicine. Unfortunately, the story really doesn't take any steps to be more than a "us vs. them".
Simplicity isn't always the best approach, this is clearly what was going on in my head the entire time I sat through this by the numbers plot. The pacing and writing gave off this feel as if there was no imagination whatsoever. Despite the sneak attack from the alien threat, everything felt way too convenient for the human forces. They were able to obtain small pieces of weaponry here and there, and use these advanced weapons against their attackers. I had a hard time buying into the story because everything felt too easy for the resistance, and this band of aliens came off looking rather inferior. It hardly ever felt like an uphill battle and this damaged the drama for me a great deal. The plot has at least one interesting twist towards the end, but this one creative moment sure as hell doesn't make up for the total blandness that came before it. This goes the same for the few thought provoking themes here and there; such as bitter enemies uniting against a common threat, and what goes around comes around. They simply can't seem to hold together this story which is apparently being held together on a prayer alone.
The characters are so forgettable that I've forgotten most of their names already, and I just got done with this book ten minutes ago. No one stood out to me in any way, shape, or form. The entire cast is only meant to move the plot, and there isn't the slightest amount of depth to any of them. Moreover, the antagonist are every bit as bland, and they come off as mere stock bad guys. The plot which follows the resistance making plans to prevent the alien race from contacting more of their fleet never gripped me. Van Lente is not a writer I would dare say is great, but this feels like a new low even for him.
The artwork has some good character designs for the humans. However, the enemies felt like something I seen in many other stories; such as little big head aliens with big eyes, and green men with the appearance of a minotaur. It's just so lackluster and I wasn't the slightest bit impressed by the action panels either. I will give the dialogue credit, since it seems to fit with that particular time period rather well.
This is one of those rare cases where the movie out did the original source material. The movie is quite different, and I think it used some of its themes better. In the film, it really felt like the humans had very little chance and the action was better. I recommend skipping the graphic novel altogether unless you're a serious comic fan.
I know there has been a lot of ‘hype’ surrounding the upcoming film “Cowboys and Aliens” so I figured perhaps it is time for me to review the actual graphic novel written by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley, with art illustrated by Luciano Lima. When I first saw the trailers for the film, I have to admit I wasn’t very excited since the source material created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg (the chairman of Platinum Studios and co-producer of the Jon Favreau film) needed … more
A Little Too Juvenile and Uninspired for my tastes, but I have to admit it can find its audience. However, veteran comic book fans will be better off looking elsewhere. Good News is: it gives the movie a lot of room to improve on the concept and premise. So the movie can be better....
Cowboys and Aliens: Worlds at War (or Cowboys & Aliens II) is a 2007 online-only extension of the graphic novel. It is written by Alana Joli Abbott.
Inspired by a Gary Larson cartoon, the title matches that of a 1995 16-page ashcan, published by Tom Arvis and Sureshot Comics. In 1998 Platinum Studios trademarked the name, and in 2004, through a separate agreement, negotiated all rights to the title from Arvis, who changed the name of his book to Wayout West