Overtaken #1 Written by Frank Mastromauro
Illustrated by Marco Laurenzana
Colored by Wes Hartman
Lettered by Josh Reed
Covers by Marco Laurenzana, Peter Steigerwald and Siya Oum Aspen Comics
Release Date: August 28, 2013
Cover Price: $1.00
Aspen Comics continues its ten year anniversary with the seventh comic book in their 10 for 10 — ten comics for one dollar — deal with Overtaken #1. The new title is Written by Frank Mastromauro and illustrated by Marco Laurenzana and Wes Hartman. Read on to find out if Overtaken has what it takes to succeed in the ever-evolving comic book industry.
When the universe was created, many alien races existed, all sharing some bit of DNA but evolving still. Those races fought one another; survival of the fittest. Today, Will and Jesse Harden have just moved from Chicago to the small, country town of Turtle Creek, MN to be near Jesse’s parents and for Will’s new journalism job. They may reside in a small town, but the cosmos is infinite, and it seems as though a universal history is beginning to repeat itself.
Laurenzana and Hartman managed a good start to their combined illustrative effort. Providing a stark contrast between a vast expanse beyond the stars and then narrowing in on one tiny residential area on Earth, Laurenzana gave me insight into how minuscule we really are. At the same time, Hartman’s full use of the color spectrum offered a bit of realism to the cartoon-like drawings.
However, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: first issues are difficult to pull off. While introducing the story’s characters, the writer must simultaneously make the reader care for the said characters and shed some light onto what the comic will ultimately be about; unfortunately, Mastromauro’s introduction to Overtaken falls short on one major account. He did a great job at making me feel for both Will and Jesse. Their relationship clearly represents one of deep love and adoration and the natural, realistic dialogue helped bring their affection to life; however, that is basically the only thing displayed. With a lengthy narration early on in the story regarding the universe’ creation and aliens warring through the process of natural selection, all that remains is a vague sense of what might happen later in the series. There is no solid link between the first third of the comic and the rest of the issue. If I hadn’t read the synopsis of the series beforehand, I’d be very lost. Instead, I felt a bit cheated by a very slow and uneventful start.
Overtaken #1 is an awfully sluggish start to a series that I had high hopes for. I’ve enjoyed a few of Aspen’s titles in their 10 for 10 celebration, but I don’t think I’ll be returning to this particular comic. I’m not quite sure it has the strength to become something greater or claim victory over its competitors.