Illegal immigration is a controversial topic that has no clear answer when brought up. When the idea of immigration comes up in a conversation, the first thing that comes to a person’s mind is running from a bad situation to a better situation. In the case of Illegal Alien, instead, our main hero wants to run toward disaster.
Created by Paul Axel and Megan Fitts, the story is about Juan, a 23-year-old man living in Venezuela in the year 2216. In his time, the earth is a utopia. With further advancements in technology, humans now have the ability to colonize out our planet. Juan’s dream is to become a part of the Mar’s colonization.
Due to the harsh conditions of the Mars program, Juan’s family attempt to talk him out of applying for the program while Juan is intent on pursuing his passion.
The reflection Of Our Present and a Potential Future
Illegal Alien has a great start. I love how it shows Juan desperately trying to pursue his passion even though it’s dangerous and how it highlights some controversial issues behind the actual program. Without spoiling too much, a lot of themes that reflect in our present appear in this comic. It boils down to passion versus risk and how Juan has to take a chance at the sacrifice of his loved one’s happiness. How will Juan take on the challenges of working in a harsh environment?
Also, Juan is running away from a utopia to walk on a barren planet with harsh climates. Compared to Venezuela’s past, it might be thought that Juan is ungrateful towards his ancestors’ perusal towards peace. Yet, I find this balance of chaotic advancement intriguing as I don’t know how successful other colonies have been throughout this story.
Being Relatable Can Equal Potential Engaging Plot Points
Throughout Illegal Alien, Juan seems like a pretty normal guy. This is usually a trait that readers wouldn’t like, but I believe it gives him an advantage. Since he is normal, he faces many challenges that several young people relate to. Although his major flaws come up in his stubbornness, I think this will be further highlighted as the story moves along and that he will have to learn how to either be even more determined or learn how to let go of issues.
At the same token, I haven’t seen other major characters in Illegal Alien besides the protagonist’s parents. Like Juan, they seem like average parents who want their son to be safe and are realistic when it comes to Juan pursuing his dreams.
Using the colonization program as a plot point is a very smart move on the creator’s part. I do think that the colonization program is a reflection of how our world works today in terms of the competitive nature people face.
The entire plot reminds me of a movie called GATTACA. The plots are very similar except that it focuses on a man with an inherent disability. I’m not sure if the creator has watched the movie, but I will certainly draw parallels between it and Illegal Alien as the story continues. I can only hope that the creator does not imitate the movie’s approach and continues to push his own creative spin.
The art style in Illegal Alien is beautiful to look at and reminds me of Diego Rivera. I have seen Rivera’s work in museums and there is an uncanny resemblance to both the creator’s and Rivera’s styles. I’m not sure if the artist used him for inspiration, but it’s amazing to see how the artist developed their style.
What makes it stand out, even more, is the usage of bright colors and intense focus on the character’s expressions. It makes the art stand out on its own.
Overall, the story has a great beginning and – because it only has 13 pages – the first issue of Illegal Alien really let me wanting for more. The balance between the science fiction aspects and relatable themes make me feel engaged. On top of that, I’m curious as to how Juan will shape his destiny as he tries to pursue his dreams.
My only hope is that the creator doesn’t veer too close to GATTACA and forget to make his work stand out from it. Illegal Alien was recently presented at the Boston Fan Expo. The team behind it also managed to raise more than 2000 dollars on Kickstarter and their projects will soon be available for purchase.
In the meantime, if you want to know more about this comicbook, you should visit Paul Axel’s official website, where you’ll also find some of the artist’s previous work!