Science fiction and fantasy
Jeff Hawke: Overlord
by Sydney Jordan and Willie Patterson
The Overlord of the title is Chalcedon, a scheming character whose plots and manipulations tie the stories together. Gentle humour, delivered with a subtle and lighthearted tone, runs through these tales. Aliens who believe themselves to be vastly superior to mankind are shown to be vain, corrupt, selfish, and often wrong. Hawke may look the part of an action hero, but he prefers to talk his way out of trouble. It's as though he takes the words of Isaac Asimov, "violence is the last refuge of the incompetent", as his motto.
The four stories that make up this collection are enjoyable to read, although their pace is slow to begin with. It's not until the final story, "Counsel For The Defence", that events come to a head and the plot gains a more satisfying complexity and pace.
In his introduction, Sydney Jordan writes about his history, and how the Second World War influenced him. This explains a lot about Jeff Hawke's character, and the reason why he is such a good negotiator rather than a more belligerent character. However, the introduction does make this graphic novel seem more highbrow than it actually is. This is a collection of accessible stories from a slightly more innocent era, abounding with freaky aliens who are often at war with each other. It will please readers who have a taste for nostalgia and somewhat lightweight space adventure.
If you like this, try:1602 by Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove
Why are the superheroes and villains of the Marvel universe turning up in Elizabethan times? A graphic novel.
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