Comics Buyer’s Guide Review

“One of the CBG’s readers, Nate Wunderman, created and writes E.I. In fact, he not only writes this and another science fiction-fantasy epic, Time Corps, he owns and operates his own imprint, Wunderman Comics.

The image of a gigantic bug about to munch Earth as if it were a doughnut hole hooked me immediately. One day in the near future, people all over the world go about their lives — until a massive swarm of insect invaders storms through the skies, bringing death and destruction in their wake.

Most of the story takes place in California, where the big, bad bugs are ruthlessly rampaging. They are the Kazoops, the most advanced race in the galaxy, and they have great disdain for mammals, of which they think humans are the lowest form.

Not everyone is keen on welcoming their new insect overlords, however, and a group called The Home Guard goes on search-and-destroy missions It’s not as if these bugs can be easily squashed, though, since they not only have massive size on their side, but a protective exo-armor.

After one skirmish, The Home Guard captures one of the aliens, named Grrzt, who shares a few secrets. Because he was taken on the invasion against his will, he decides to help his human captors. Grrzt injects them with a bio-mechanical chip that allows them to speak with animals. Soon, dogs, cats, and ferrets join forces with man. More animal power is always welcome, though, so they head to the zoo and pick up a bear and tiger. These two animals get down to business almost immediately and dispose of some human traitors in bloody, messy order.

Although E.I. is mostly action and drama, there’s comic relief, particularly with the animals, whether they’re not understanding some human concepts or just bickering among themselves. The main animal character, a dog named Chopper, is particularly sassy.

Other key players include a government official who probably never thought just how vital her Ph.D. in entomology would be and a popular TV evangelist hiding a big secret under his itchy wig.

The art is vibrant (particularly in the flashback scenes of the bugs invading various countries) and the material is well written; just be aware that there’s some profanity (and a little nudity). My only complaint is that the typeface in the aliens’ balloons is sometimes hard to read.

E.I. has been fun so far and may even give readers second thoughts about squishing bugs; their highly advanced brethren may be watching.

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