Friday, August 13, 2010

Groom Lake

Written by Chris Ryall
Art by Ben Templesmith

I'd wanted to pick up the individual issues that made up this series when they first came out, but I was put off by the $4 price (not that $20 for a trade is better - thank you used bookstores!).  I'm glad I got around to reading this, as it's a lot of fun, and quite pretty.

Groom Lake is named for the location of Area 51, but the story starts elsewhere, with the abduction one night of a man in New Hampshire.  Some two years later, his twenty-year old son is contacted by agents for the US Government, and they take him to Area 51 to see his father, long presumed dead, who had been experimented on horribly by the little gray aliens that anyone who has ever seen a copy of Communion would be familiar with.

As it turns out, our young hero, Karl Bauer, has altered genes after generations of alien experimentation on his family.  All of his experimented upon forebears have died from exploding genitals, and the aliens want to study Karl.  The government has been working with these aliens, to develop genetic weapons.  It turns out that all of your favourite aliens from the movies - the Blobs, ET - have been living at Area 51, assisting with black ops projects.

The story is a little predictable - Karl escapes with Archibold, the pilot for the little gray aliens, and all sorts of stuff happens.  It's the execution of this plot, and the little details, that make the book so good.  The aliens are obsessed with human genitalia (lacking any of their own), and like chocolate and cigarettes.

Templesmith's work is as good as it always is here, and Ryall shows a good ear for dialogue.  This is a good quick read.

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