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‘Meteor Man: Expanded Edition’ (review)

Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Sandy Jarrell, Kevin Volo, Cank!
Published by Oni Press

Jack Kirby instinctively understood what made comics a unique art form. Jim Steranko took Kirby’s innate style and added cinematic techniques. There was actually a book about that back in the early 1970s.

Over the years since, it seemed like everyone wanted to get into the act, making comics more like movies than comics.

In fact, it’s become a bit of a cliché to say a comic book or graphic novel felt “cinematic,” and yet here I come saying it again. Meteor Men (Expanded Edition) by Jeff Parker, Sandy Jarrell, and friends doesn’t so much feel like a comic book as it does a movie on paper.

It’s paced very much like a big-screen movie; it uses movie-like “camera angles” and reveals; offers special effects: and uses multi-panel continuations to simulate movement.

You’ll also find a number of stock characters, from our teenage hero to sympathetic scientists, gung-ho military men, and double-crossing government agents. The book’s leisurely beginning eventually barrels headlong toward an ominously optimistic and vaguely Spielberg-style ending.

Familiar or not, this is all handled extremely well on all counts. The book is a real page-turner. A meteor storm accompanying a comet brings new life to our world and little by little that life makes itself known, first to the unfortunate eartlings who become hosts to it, then to our unbothered young hero, the military, and eventually the rest of the planet.

There’s some scary stuff in Meteor Men, some philosophical stuff, some psychedelic stuff, and some adventure stuff, too, and it’s all wrapped up in a colorful, enjoyable, well-written and drawn graphic novel package. If, like me, you haven’t been to the movies in a while due to the pandemic, here’s your chance to curl up in a comfy chair and enjoy Meteor Men, a cool new sci-fi flick on paper.

Booksteve recommends.



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