When working for a galactic postal service, how wrong could it really go? According to writer D. W. Richards and artist Steven Legge, quite wrong. Together these two drop the full trade of Alexandra Forever to tell the story of an immortal working her way through human life of the 24th century. D. W. Richards did an excellent job putting this story together with a strong theme of corporate tyranny that is all too prevalent in our society today. Unfortunately he fell short when it came to writing the dialogue. Luckily Steven Legge is an incredibly talented co-creator, and he brought life to some of the duller moments. Together these two brought one hell of an adventure in 127 pages..
We are introduced to the story with a package, launched from space, crash landing on an alien planet. Following the trail in the sky, we are brought inside of a space station where we are introduced to Alexandra; who is trying to keep a low profile working for this Galactic Post Office. Unfortunately her past catches up to her, and she is forced to escape to the planet far below.
During the evacuation, she reflects on her extended past, going back at least 300 years. We watch her relive the pain of immortality over and over again before she finally crashes on the surface. It is here that her new life of tranquility is broken by the call of heroism and adventure. One by one this goddess/superhero has her mettle tested as she struggles to save the independent colony on planet Nimbus from the tyranny of two galactic federations. Which is a great metaphor to what big companies do every day to third world countries around the globe.
- W. Richards’s script is solid. I can always appreciate a story that has a beginning middle and end because the end result is something cohesive. Each character is defined just enough to move from one plot to the next, and to motivate the reader to actually finish the book. Another bonus, as well, is the fact that there is little, to no, narrative. D. W. Richards definitely knows his way around some good prose and it shows well in this book.
However, a big complaint for me was in the dialogue. I understand completely that this is one of the most difficult parts of writing, but how a writer implements dialogue can make or break the story. And for this issue, I felt that it came off as clunky. Overused sci-fi catchphrases and one-liners popped up in awkward places, which often gave an inconsistent tone to the situations at hand. D. W. Richards also fell into the dangerous trap that most comic book writers are victim to, overstating character names; the characters in the story know who they are, so when they constantly refer to each other by name, it is just strange. Every writer should always remember this: dialogue is an action. Just like a fight scene, or an explosion, it is not something to constantly write in just because you can. Make every word have purpose, leaving no line unnecessary.
On a better note, Steven Legge did such an amazing job on the art. His contribution to the book was very much appreciated. The panel layouts for each page were well paced, and each page itself was not overly crowded. Which is saying a lot since he had a detailed background for almost every panel. I think what I enjoyed most, though, was the inking. It was very old school Marvel, circa 1980: hatch shading, mostly contour lines, almost no black outs. It was very easy on the eyes. The colors were also well done. Steven Legge demonstrated that he understands that power of value and saturation to push the focus for the linework. On top of all that, he also made a great palette choice; Red, blues, and greens, always work for sci-fi books.
Sadly, no matter how fantastic the art and story may be, they just cannot make up for that dialogue. The theme was great, and the journey that these creators plunged into was a lot of fun. Not to mention how much I enjoyed a book with an actual purpose; speaking out against the villainy of this world’s faceless corporations. However, as a whole, the book just did not really do it for me. And as much as it kills me to say it, since I know how hard it can be to publish a book these day, I would not recommend this purchase; unless it is on sale. But that should absolutely not take away from how beautiful Steven Legge made this story. I give Alexandra Forever 2.5 out of 5.
Written and Created by David Richards
Illustrated and coloured by Steven Legge
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