Unbeknownst to the human race, a great and terrible evil threatens to engulf the earth. College freshman Alec Wagner is the “Gatecrasher,” a somewhat reluctant member of a covert brigade of warriors dedicated to protecting Earth. As sole possessor of the ability to predict the opening of inter-dimensional gates, Alec assumes nearly overwhelming responsibility for his team, conducting the Split-Second Squad against alien invaders. However, battling aliens is not the only thing on Alec’s mind. While juggling college and inter-dimensional combat, Alec also has high prospects for his social life, if he could ever show up on time for a date!
Image Comics has collected part of Gatecrasher into one convenient volume. The trade collects Black Bull Media’s Gatecrasher numbers 1-4 by comic superstars Mark Waid and Jimmy Palmiotti. The art is done by Palmiotti and his wife Amanda Conner.
The story is about Alec Wagner and his high school aged angst and troubles. Part of his trouble is being a half-alien that is part of a brigade protecting the earth from alien invasion. This has an effect on his social life as you can imagine. He gets pulled into action on his way to the prom to fight an alien force on another planet. Things go wrong, and Alec gets bathed in the goo of the ThinkTank. This particular machine predicts when and where the portals bringing the alien hordes will open. The goo gives Alex more problems than he can imagine, but it also gives him some powers. Besides Alec, our cast of characters includes his headstrong but beautiful commander Hazard, his girlfriend Mia who is always left alone as Alec does hit duty, his cousin and Grandparents. Hazard is tough on Alec but is really just trying to look out for him. Because of his goo bath, Alec is a target for all the alien baddies. This is where issues 3 and 4 take us.
The story is very good. Waid and Palmiotti do a great job of making us care about Alec and the whole band of characters. The book is from earlier in 2000, and is very much a product of its time. It has the late 90s early ‘00s feel. You have big armor costumes, bigger guns, and scantily clad women. The climactic battle features Hazard having a swordfight in what amounts to a bikini. That feeling of pent up teenage hormones is one of the only things you can knock this book for. The art is excellent, there are a few places especially with the eyes in one or two panels that seem slightly off, but Conner is a fantastic artist that really shines in this book. Her current work is superb as well. If you wanted to compare Gatecrasher to something, it feels like a mixture of Starship Troopers, Stargate, and Men In Black.
Bottom Line: While not perfect, Gatecrasher is an enjoyable read written by two big names in comics. Some of the visuals and writing feel like the product of the 90s, but the story itself holds up rather well. If you haven’t read this yet or just want to read some older works by the big names on the project this is a worthwhile read. I give Gatecrasher a 4/5
Cody "The Thorverine" Ferrell
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