Change Management

Boy Abducted By Aliens Returns by Dave West and Gustavo Vargas

Teenage years are difficult. You are growing and changing. Maybe you rebel against your parents, maybe you are desperate to fit in at school, to be just like the cool gang. Peter Thomson certainly did. He wanted to be one of the lads rather than one of their victims. And it turned out that Peter had a particular talent. When he wanted to fit in, he could do so with precision.

Life is full of cycles. Of lives following set paths.

Boy Abducted By Aliens Returns

Peter has a strange superpower. When stressed and exposed to DNA of another living being he can change his form so that he becomes a physical version of them. It is not the kind of power that really lends itself to putting on some spandex and a cape however. And giving a teenage boy with raging hormones and filled with adolescent angst powers of this nature could have unfortunate consequences. Change and growth it turns out, are different things.

Goth the dog looking mean

There have been plenty of comics looking at the physical changes of adolescence – the X-Men for example whose mutant powers emerge on puberty. Not many take into account the often bad ideas that teenagers have and Boy Abducted.. doesn’t shy away from this as Peter is led by his infatuation with young Jill Haines or his desire to be friends with the bad-boy crowd rather than their victim.

Fortunately whilst immature and unheroic, Peter is good at heart. The main victim of his powers usually ends up being himself, although his poor parents suffering doesn’t seem to concern him (which is of course exactly how a teenager would think.)

Gustavo Vargas does a fantastic job with the art. I loved his Peruvian cyberpunk tale L1MA but whilst that was sun-drenched and lit by crackling pre-Colombian colours this black and white tale has a different feel as you would expect for such a different setting. I especially loved his work with the dog Goth with his hulking black form and rippling muscles and slavering jaws. The villainous nemesis Mr Jones is another highlight with his menacing cadaverous visage.

Boy Abducted By Aliens Returns has the feel of a long form Future Shock. Dave West writes twists and turns that are often unexpected and dramatic. The themes of change, both physical and emotional, are well handled. Who do we want to be? Will we be happy when we get there? One thing is for sure, you can’t stop change.

Boy Abducted By Aliens Returns. Published by Accent UK Comics. The book will be available at upcoming cons including Portsmouth Comic Con, TCAF Toronto and MCM London. There will be a kickstarter campaign launched in September.

Writer – Dave West
Artist – Gustavo Vargas

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