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Drafted #1

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2007
By: Matt Brady



Writer: Mark Powers
Artist: Eric Lie

Publisher: Devil's Due Publishing


Drafted holds an interesting premise, in which aliens come to earth to recruit the whole of humanity to fight a "great evil" which has already "destroyed a thousand thousand worlds". It's an interesting concept, which could lead to worldshaking sci-fi action, or possibly comment on human nature by questioning whether mankind could put aside their differences to face a greater threat. Or, one could take a hamhanded political approach and discard any pretense of subtlety, like writer Mark Powers does here. In this story (which actually began in a 99-cent preview issue that came out in June), he gives us a thinly-veiled George W. Bush stand-in as the President of the United States, one who spouts rhetoric about freedom and claims to listen directly to God's words. Instead of an interesting look at how humans might react when asked to fight alongside those they despise, we see everyone instantly start to get along, symbolized by Jews and Palestinians praying together at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. There are a few panels of arguments in the U.N., but then all the world leaders instantly go along with the President's plan to argue the aliens' demands after he gives a rousing speech (which contains the phrase "Bring it on!").

We also have an ever-expanding cast, including a New York convenience store owner, a Jew and Palestinian that can't understand why their people can't just be pals, a group of Muslim women who are freeing female slaves, a gothy female cubicle-worker in Seattle, and a couple of EMTs, one of whom is dying of cancer. It's a pretty unwieldy group, and while they will surely all play into the eventual conflict that the cover promises, right now they just seem like a bunch of random people, with little about them that should interest us.

As for the art, it's really not very good. Characters don't seem to be able to exhibit more than two or three expressions (the President looks constantly angry), and faces don't stay consistent from panel to panel. People look especially ridiculous when they're supposed to be showing sadness. It's just a poor job all around.
So, not recommended. Poorly-realized characters, a facile view of human nature, and ugly art make for a bad combo. It could get better, especially if Powers lays off the politics and just tries to tell a big space war story, but it doesn't look like he's going that way. Avoid.



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