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The Silent Invasion: The Great Fear vol. 2 by Larry Hancock and Michael Cherkas (graphic novel review).

May 15, 2019 | By | Reply More

‘The Silent Invasion: The Great Fear’ is the follow-up volume to ‘The Silent Invasion: Red Shadows’ and continues the adventures of Matt Sinkage, ace reporter. If you want to read ‘Red Shadows’ then stop here because spoilers are inevitable.

In that book, Matt Sinkage investigated UFOs but was blocked in his efforts by a secret organisation called The Council. By the end of the adventure, he believed his girlfriend was possessed by an alien and so was locked away in an institution.

‘The Silent Invasion: The Great Fear’ begins three years later with Sinkage, now a free man, trying to rebuild his life. He lives at Mrs. Hoople’s Boarding House in the small town of Rockhaven (pop. 4750) and works for George Armstrong, owner, editor and publisher of The Ranger, a small twice a week local newspaper. Sinkage also moonlights for ‘The Tattler’, making up ‘eyewitness’ accounts of strange events. ‘Ten Year Old Girl Watches As Satan Mutilates Pet Calf!’ for example. Presumably, ‘The Tattler’ is based on ‘The National Enquirer’ or Britain’s ‘Sunday Sport’.

Sinkage is leading a quiet life until a real story comes up. Local farmer Gladys Tanner holds a Space Conclave at her farm every year for the Sirian Utopian Foundation and guests are invited to be a part of the Cosmic Energy Funnel. The Foundation believes that only flying saucers can save the world from communism and nuclear destruction. The event is amazingly successful and draws large crowds. Unwisely, Sinkage decides to investigate and is soon embroiled in trouble again.

‘The Great Fear’ involves many of the characters from ‘Red Shadows’. Phil Housley, the former FBI agent; Matt’s baffled but supportive brother Walter and his angry unsupportive wife Katie and, of course, The Council. There are new developments as Sinkage becomes convinced that a presidential candidate is possessed by aliens. The black and white art by Michael Cherkas is the same: bold black lines, shadows and large people with small heads.

It takes a bit of getting used to but not much, especially in the modern era where a variety of styles are acceptable and it nicely evokes a film noir feel. My generation grew up watching old Warner Brothers gangster films on Sunday afternoons so I like that look. The plot continues to explore the paranoia of 1950s America. All in all, it’s the mix as before and a fine mix it is.

I enjoyed ‘Red Shadows’ and I liked ‘The Great Fear’, too. I look forward to part three, ‘The Silent Invasion: Abductions!’ Intelligent, original indie comics like this make a nice change of pace from the ubiquitous super-heroes taking over the cinema.

Eamonn Murphy

May 2019

(pub: NBM Publishing. 160 page graphic novel. Price: $16.99 (US), UK £14.99 (UK). 978-1-6811-2206-9)

check out website: http://www.nbmpub.com

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Category: Comics, Scifi

About the Author ()

Eamonn Murphy is a science fiction, fantasy, horror and graphic novel reviewer who writes for the small press. He saves his old short stories and gives them away in free collections. See https://eamonnmurphyblog.wordpress.com/

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