Review by Ian Keogh
It’s been so long since the alien Marauders invaded Earth that a new system of dating time has been introduced. As the book opens it’s calender year 93 and Bridget Lee is a nurse in a remote outpost protecting children in what’s called the Blue Sector. It’s one of three regional groupings of humanity united under colours.
Bridget is the focal point for telling a science fiction war story in microcosm. Once a fighter herself, she takes her medical duties very seriously, and those of protecting children even more so. She’s haunted by a moment of inaction as her wounded husband died seven years previously, but she remains capable and dangerous.
Ethan Young’s story is high on humanity, accentuating the personalities of the protagonists, but often via quite clumsy dialogue as the cast emote or explain. Despite this, much remains unexplained, with hints as to motivation deliberately dropped in towards the conclusion of what then begins to read as the set-up for a series. Of course, the title indicates that also, but it’ll presumably be sales dependent. It’s frustrating, though, that obvious questions remain unanswered. Why is it that any alien race would commit the resources to an invasion that’s taken 93 years and counting? Even the USA withdrew from Vietnam in less than twenty.
An interesting background element reflects the single child policy China enforced for many years. The rationale behind Invasion of Farfall is that men are required to fight for humanity’s survival, therefore male children are prioritised. Girls and disabled boys are shipped off to orphanages such as Farfall. Young doesn’t make obvious preachy comments about this, but lets the heroism of his main characters contradict the reasoning.
Young’s art is better than his plot. His style of storytelling would slot very easily into 2000AD as he’s strong at both the technology and the backgrounds for his chosen genre, yet that’s not at the cost of characterising his cast well. The Marauders are especially well designed, basically humanoid, but with an excess of eyes giving them a very unsettling look.
Invasion of Farfall works as an inspiring adventure graphic novel for teens, but lacks the compelling factor to sustain a series.