I was not familiar with either the work of writer Paul Cornell or the artist Ryan Kelly when I saw the advanced previews for Saucer Country. However, the concept was just different enough from most sci-fi comics currently being published, that I knew I just had to give it a try. Still, I did do a little more research before purchasing the first issue and was excited by what I did find out.
The writer Paul Cornell has a vast and diverse backlog of writing. He got his start by writing screenplays for British Television. He has written episodes for Doctor Who, Robin Hood and Primeval. He has also written several Doctor Who novels, as well as two original science fiction novels. He has written many British and American comics stories, and was the writer on DC Comics' Demon Knights and Stormwatch. This is his first foray into a creator-owned title and will be published monthly by DC Comics' Vertigo line.
Artist Ryan Kelly is best known for working with writer Brian Wood: penciling and inking the entire twelve issue run of the Oni Press comics series Local and a story arc ("The Cross + the Hammer") for Northlanders. I haven’t read either these, but as the preview pages below demonstrate, Kelly has the ability to render unique and believable characters, which should serve him well on Saucer Country.
Vertigo describes Saucer Country thus:
Arcadia Alvarado, the leading Democratic candidate for President of the United States, says she was "abducted by aliens."As the Mexican-American Governor of New Mexico, she's dealing with immigration, budget cuts and an alcoholic ex. She's about to toss her hat into the ring as a candidate for President in the most volatile political climate ever. But then…a lonely road and a nightmarish encounter have left her with terrible, half-glimpsed memories. And now she has to become President. To expose the truth – and maybe, to save the world. With the help of her quirky staff, Arcadia will pursue the truth of her abduction into danger, mystery and awe. SAUCER COUNTRY is a dark thriller that blends UFO lore and alien abduction with political intrigue, all set in the hauntingly beautiful Southwest.
All of this is beautifully conveyed in the first issue. We see Arcadia in a dream sequence being abducted by aliens. Then we accompany her on her final meeting with her staff. We then see her at a rally where she announces her run for President of the United States. We see all of these important aspects her story from her point of view and we’re not led to any direct conclusions as to what happened to Arcadia is true or not.
I think the blend of politics and Ufology makes this a fascinating comic series. I’m not completely sure where the story is headed, but I’m very interested in finding out. If you have any interest in politics, UFO mythology or just real characters put into unreal situations, then I definitely recommend you give Saucer Country a try.