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‘Saucer Country’ is a political sci-fi comic book about the meaning of ‘aliens’

Mar 15, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about a comic from Vertigo, DC Comics’ “mature reader” imprint.

“Scalped” and “Sweet Tooth” are wonderful titles, yes, but I’ve fallen behind on them and lack the enthusiasm to read through the 24 or so issues I need to catch up. I vow not to let the same thing happen with Vertigo’s latest ongoing series, “Saucer Country”.

Described by writer Paul Cornell as “‘The X-Files’ meets ‘West Wing’”, it sounds as if it’s trying too hard, and it may still veer in that direction. Yet the first issue introduces us to its compelling female protagonist, Democratic New Mexican Governor Arcadia Alvarado.

The granddaughter of illegal immigrants, Alvarado is just hours away from announcing her historic presidential bid, a bid she rests on her family’s “alien” background. She also may have been kidnapped by actual, celestial aliens. Or she thinks she has been, at least. Through it all, poor Alvarado has to deal with prophetic nightmares, a mess of an ex-husband, a new campaign strategist, cutthroat Republican strategist Chloe Sanders, shady security chief Fausto and her most loyal adviser, Harry, who convinced her to launch a presidential campaign in the first place.

There are plenty of themes and elements for Cornell and artist Ryan Kelly to play with here, and plenty of plot threads to satisfy political junkies and sci-fi nerds alike.

Though the whole “illegal alien” and “aliens from outer space” comparison may ultimately become heavy-handed and tiresome, “Saucer Country” is a compelling title, and one of the few comic books that features a female, Latina protagonist, let alone one running for the White House.

SaucerCountry1 Saucer Country is a political sci fi comic book about the meaning of aliens

“Saucer Country #1″ is on sale now. I sincerely suggest you read it.

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