Writer: Liezl Buenaventura
Artist/Cover Artist: Xavier Tarrega
Colorist: DJ Chavis
Editor: Chris Sanchez
“Tommy Murphy is just an ordinary kid. He goes to school, hangs out with his friends, and fanboys over his favorite TV show. But when a chance encounter in the woods thrusts him into an unlikely friendship with an otherworldly creature, he is forced to navigate bullies, family squabbles, and tween woes… all while trying to prevent an interplanetary war.”
If you like films like Goonies and Super 8 then your already familiar with the set-up of They Fell From the Sky. A nerdy group of friends in a small town discover a crashed alien ship. While the setting and tropes all seem failure, there is a charm to this story that separates its from the others.
Our main character, Tommy, seems to be a mix of both Billy Batson and Justin Long’s character from Galaxy Quest. He’s got a deep love of scifi, especially for his favorite show, and is willing to stand up to the bigger/faster/stronger school bully. At the same time, he has a Varsity Blues “I don’t want your life” moment with his farmer dad. Overall I’m intrigued by his character and want to see how he handles interacting with a space alien.
Liezl Buenaventura’s dialog is solid and fits both the time period and the age group. I do struggle a bit with some of the cursing and racial terms used in an all ages book, but that’s just me. I’m not sure I would had that to my elementary aged kids without some pre and post conversations, especially around the racial theme. I hope this is a set-up to approach these racial issues more as the story develops.
The art by Xavier Tarrega fits the story perfectly! Depicting teen angst in a way that is both colorful and soulful can be a challenge. Tarrega nails this as well as the small town feel. Having grown up in a small town myself I could “feel” the environment our characters live in. Everything from the school setting to riding your bikes to the local convivence store that sells comics (in my case it was a video store), it just felt like home.
Hey, wait! It’s this an alien story?
Yes, but that really only comes in last few pages. This is the point that drives people to want to pick up issue-two. For me, the question is, “Are they friend or foe?”