Independence Day #1 Review

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Posted March 23, 2016 by Henry Wong in Comic Books

Written by: Victor Gischler

Art by: Steve Scott

Publisher: Titan Comics

The memories. I remember back in the 90’s, watching Independence day for the first time. And then the second time. And then the third time. The alien attacks and the great speeches. Or one of my favourite moments, when Will Smith dogfights with an alien craft in the grand canyon. So when I saw that they were making a sequel movie, I had to see more. This is where the comic comes in. This comic is meant to be a precursor to the movie. And as such, the artists and the story try to emulate the same feelings we got in the first movie, and in the end of finishing this issue, I got those feels.

The comic does many things well. The first is how it connects itself to the movies. I say movies because in addition to the plot taking place right after the mothership is blown up in the first movie, it hashes out General Adams backstory, who is a character William Fichtner will be playing in Independence Day: Resurgence. And the second thing is how the team does this transition seamlessly and efficiently, taking all of one and a half pages. Right after, we are thrust back into an exciting chapter of discovering more about these aliens, learning that an alien spaceship “crash dived” into the Atlantic ocean just before the mothership blew up. The art style is helpful for this transition as well, as it keeps the sense of foreboding that we had throughout the first movie. I also liked the timeline/map that they had at the end of the issue of all of the events since the first movie. It helped me catch up with what may happen in the new movie.

I especially like the dialogue. I would expect in a prequel comic meant to invigorate the audience with an interest in the Independence Day universe to contain a lot of exposition. Especially to also attract more attention from the new generations who may not have had the chance to experience Independence Day. But there isn’t any expository dialogue. Or at least, there isn’t any blatant boring expository dialogue. Except for a few scenes, the dialogue is what seems to be typical of military types in pop-culture. Straight to the point, commanding and all about the need-to-know basis. And for the purpose of this comic, I am content with that style of writing. Furthermore, the characters seem interesting and Gischler definitely left some room for character development for future issues.

The art, in addition to what was stated above, really helps the reader understand the characters environment. I especially like how some of the scenes in the submarine were coloured red, showing their state of silence. Or when they are looking at the infrared cameras of the alien ship, the colours reflected what we may see from infrared cameras. The colours and character expressions also help us understand the depth of the ambiance under water, the urgency of the mission or even what the characters could be feeling. The colours especially do not feel out of place, which is definitely a positive for this tie-in to the new movie.

I did have issues with this comic. I have yet to understand the reasoning for the story/artists to have drawn in Dr. Morgan changing. I understand that in a submarine, the level of privacy between people may be much lower than is to be expected normally however, in a comic that seeks to throw us back into our nostalgia for more Independence Day, I felt like that scene was out of place. Furthermore, I would have liked to see Captain Adams (as he is in the comics) show a bit more of a struggle when he was walking along the ocean floor, especially for a character with thalassophobia.

Overall, this comic shows a lot of promise. The art style and dialogue fits the atmosphere that I expected based on my memories of the Independence Day movie. Furthermore, I was impressed by how seamlessly and efficient the issue transitioned the reader from movie to comic. I feel like this comic will be very entertaining, in addition to doing its job as a prequel to the Independence Day: Resurgence movie. The cliffhanger of an ending will also surely drag the reader back in to finish the comic. Because honestly, who doesn’t want to see aliens and more human co-option of alien technology?


About the Author

Henry Wong