Meteor Men

Meteor MenWritten by: Jeff Parker
Illustrated by: Sandy Jarrell
Publisher: Oni Press
Format: Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pages, Full Color, $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-62010-151-3

One summer night, a party to watch the Perseid meteor shower takes a sharp turn when one of the meteorites crashes nearby. From the outset, the meteorite isn't behaving as a normal space rock should, and teenager Alden Baylor can't help but notice how smooth the rock is inside when it cracks open. He gains some notoriety, as it was his farm the meteorite landed on. As reports of crashes across the globe spread, Alden's life become more complicated – especially when he meets the being that came out of the meteorite. Soon, he's dealing with the FBI, the news media, and his family, all looking for clues about this being. Meanwhile, his good friend hasn't been seen since the crash, and Alden can't help but wonder about the connection…

Meteor Men is an original take on the alien landing story, taking a ground level approach to the cosmic event. Seen through Alden's eyes, the post-crash events seem mundane enough – there's discussion of what to do with this valuable piece of space debris – but as things progress, we're shown just how serious things are, particularly when sightings of other alien beings spread.

Jeff Parker's script keeps the mystery going with tight pacing and dialogue that's both revealing and realistic (people talk over each other quite often, as they would in a panic situation). Sandy Jarrell has a tight grasp on storytelling technique here, and his art perfectly captures the "ground level sci-fi" feel of the story, capturing the human scale while making outer space feel vast and glorious.

Meteor Men offers an inventive treatment of a well-worn trope, and takes the idea to new and imaginative places. The graphic novel is suggested for Teen (13+) readers who enjoy science fiction (particularly alien-based) stories.