Art by Nacho Arranz
Cover by Nacho Arranz
Published by IDW
Let me begin this review by saying mischief was most definitely afoot when the review copy of Galaxy Quest #3 was sent to me. Imagine my surprise when I finally opened up my review copy and failed to see the familiar Galaxy Quest crew, but instead met Abbey and her best friend Cate. I waited for a Thermian to pop up or for Brandon to stumble into a panel, but nothing happened. After a little digging, I discovered the truth behind this deviation from the main story. So while we will not be discussing what happens after Jason and the crew manage to land on Dryth, we will be looking at the comic I was sent because that’s how I roll. I hope everyone had a merry April Fool’s Day. Oh, and IDW, I’ve got my eye on you.
Conjure, written by Alice Hoffman and inspired by the late Ray Bradbury, takes place in a small town somewhere in the heart of America. Summer is drawing to a close, and stories of a mysterious figure who fell to Earth during the last thunderstorm have put everyone on edge. Well almost everyone.
Abbey, a book loving tomboy who finds nothing wrong with wearing shorts and a t-shirt everyday, and Cate, a dreamer who envisions herself travelling up and down the Californian coast studying butterflies and sharks, aren’t put off by this local legend in the making.
The girls quickly deduce that the angel is really a neighbor’s cousin Lowell, who is visiting from California. Abbey and Cate easily discover his campsite, and spend some time getting to know Lowell.
Lowell, giving off a vampiric vibe, claims he has been camping out among the stars all summer. Cate falls for Lowell because he said he could see living in California very soon. Abbey however, has some serious doubts about his character. Every fiber of her being says something wicked is stirring behind that cool demeanor.
Not long after her first encounter with the “angel,” Abbey talks to her neighbor about Lowell. Now here is where the story veers left from a slice of life, and enters the realm of magical realism. Turns out something snapped in Lowell during his visit. Lowell went from a kind, helpful fellow, to someone spewing out predictions of the future as if he were condemning them.
This behavior did not go over too well and Lowell was kicked out of the house. In retaliation he stole a car along with some miscellaneous objects like rope, tape, a blanket, and an axe. You know, the basics. After learning all of this, Abbey gets a pretty good picture of Lowell’s future, and does everything in her power to prevent Cate from being part of it.
Conjure hits all the classic Bradbury notes. Themes of innocence lost and experience gained dominate the story and are aided by subtle hints of magic. Of course the biggest selling point is the use of books as salvation. The Galaxy Quest art style that Nacho Arranz carried over, compliments the story and sets an eerie mood from start to finish.
If you are a fan of Bradbury’s work and can find Conjure go ahead and give it a read. As for the fine crew of the NSEA Protector, I’m sure they’re doing fine. After all, they left Guy in charge of the Galaxy Quest convention on Earth. That was a wise decision. Right?