Written by Mike Carey and Drawn by Siddharth Kotian
Published by
Virgin Comics

Imagine, if you will, that a number of people you know aren’t who they really say they are. Of course, you’d be appalled, maybe even frightened. Imagine then, that you suddenly find out that you aren’t who you think you are. That in a moment, a flood of memories returns to your mind and you begin to understand that you are an alien with powers beyond those of humans, one who fled a brutal opposing force and went underground on another planet. So deep underground, actually, that your very existence has been buried with it. Now, one of the aliens who does have her own memories, a woman named Tamree, is faced with the reality that the opponent has found earth. And a choice must be made whether to fight on her own… or wake up those who have spent over a decade asleep.

STRANDED marks the first full collaboration between Virgin Comic and the Sci-Fi Channel, and it reads pretty much how you’d expect that pairing to read. Mike Carey is one of the better mainstream comics writers working in the field today, and his instincts as a strong storyteller with a solid grip on action and adventure are on full display here. That’s a very typical hire for Virgin, and they have indeed used Carey before for that very reason. On the flip side, you also have a brilliantly wide-open concept to play with, one that could easily be adapted for television and on a reasonable cable series budget. It looks like a win-win scenario for both entities out of the gate.

The one real surprise about this book comes from the art by Siddharth Kotian. STRANDED is the most traditional looking western comic that Virgin has produced when not using an American artist. Kotian is up to the task, delivering some nice pages with a fluid feeling to them; there’s nothing stuff at all to distract the reader. Throw in some lovely color work, and the book is really quite solid.

One other thing- in an age of long arcs written for the trade, Carey does do his level best to provide a very packed story to give the reader their money’s worth. A strong start to a book with some promise.

Marc Mason