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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

Alien Legion
Uncivil War #4 (of 4)


Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artists: Larry Stroman, Carl Potts
Publisher: Titan
RRP: £2.65
Age: 12+
32 pages
Publication Date: 24 September 2014

The space lanes to Hell are paved with good intentions and the peacekeeping mission for the veterans of Alien Legion’s elite Force Nomad has gone rapidly belly up. Escorting a fleet of refugee ships has degenerated into a sprawling cosmic brawl and to make matters worse, a cadre of alien priests seem determined to wipe out all life on a peaceful planet in preparation for their second coming...!

Revived in a new incarnation for 2014 by Titan, Carl Potts and Frank Cirocco's enduring military sci-fi saga Alien Legion ties up its first new storyline with the confrontation between the bloodthirsty invading Harkilons and the Legionnaires in full swing. Evergreen lead character Sarigar, now promoted to General, attempts to protect a group of refugees caught in the crossfire of the Harkilon civil war, aided as usual by the tough veterans of his loyal Force Nomad.

'Uncivil War' is scarcely different in tone or content from Alien Legion in its 1980s incarnation, understandable given the creators' evident loyalty and commitment to the series. It's also notably uninterested in holding new readers' hands, with only a cursory amount of exposition for anyone unfamiliar with the characters and continuity. The characterisation is two-dimensional at best, however, and so the bulk of the series' appeal lies in all-guns-blazing space-warfare action, which never lets up throughout this miniseries.

The series' strongest suit, as in its heyday, is main artist's Larry Stroman's work which is even more dynamic and impressive than in the 1980s run; while his artistic tic of shadowed eyes and gritted teeth can be repetitive, it suits the roughnecks of the Legion to a T. Carl Potts' inks, together with modern production values and digital colour from Thomas Mason and Hi-Fi Design, bring out his strengths beautifully.

Despite 'Uncivil War's high visual quality, the thin characterisation and unexamined gung-ho militarism of Dixon's script mean that ultimately it's as unrewarding a read as in its earlier incarnations. Recommended for fans of the series and anyone who admires Stroman's art, but not beyond that.


Richard Hunt

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