Mild Spoilers Ahead
Samuel is understandably struggling with having a psychic alien living in his room. That hasn’t stopped him from uploading his videos to the internet and going to school though. He’s named the alien Chip, after all the chips it eats. When he gets to school, he sees Leon’s parents talking about their missing son to the police. There, he connects with Samantha and Samir’s thoughts too and they share their disdain for Chelsea’s phony sympathy about Leon’s disappearance. After school, the three Sams decide to experiment with Chip’s abilities.
Alienated #2 jumps forwards a little bit after the events of the last issue. The Sams are getting more used to having Chip in their lives and Leon has been missing for a while.
Samuel is experiencing some of Leon’s memories and they’re giving him some guilt over what happened–even if it was an accident.
A theme slowly moving towards the foreground in this issue is how redeemable people like Leon and Chelsea are. Both represent high school villain archetypes–the bigoted redneck and faux-Christian popular girl respectively. While the comic seems to reinforce that Leon and Chelsea are just these archetypes, the comic does second-guess what Chip and the Sams have done and will do to them.
The comic doesn’t innately frame what the Sams are doing as righteous justice and it does go out of its way to show some sympathetic aspects of Leon’s life and the tragedy of his disappearance–his grieving parents being an example. That said, the comic could go the extra step and actually add more to the characters of Leon and Chelsea.
The Catcher in the Rye is an ideological relative of Alienated. Both are apprehensive of the truisms of their own narrative and I definitely look forward to where Alienated is going with all of this.
Chris Wildgoose’s artwork comes through strong again in this issue. The work is sleek, expressive, and well-suited to the youthful energy of the narrative. Plus, it just looks damn good. André May brings a vibrantly colorful palette to the book. The neon blues that accompany Chip look especially good.
Alienated #2 is a complex and intriguing dive into the sufferings of a trio of high school students and a mysterious alien. The comic both adheres to and interrogates the hierarchy of adolescent archetypes and I’m left curious as to where Simon Spurrier is going with all of this. This one definitely gets a recommendation. Check it out.
Alienated #2 comes to us from writer Simon Spurrier, artist and cover artist Chris Wildgoose, color artist André May, letterer Jim Campbell, and variant cover artist Joe Quinones.
Final Score: 8/10