Written by: Liezl Buenaventura
Art by: Xavier Tarrega
Coloured by: DJ Chavis
Lettered by: Joamette Gil
Publisher: Mad Cave

As a weirdo who’s writing a doom metal musical about space-faring guinea pigs, I guess I was the obvious choice to review this series.

They Fell From The Sky follows the adventures of Tommy Murphy, a short, nerdy, 12-year-old kid with equally nerdy friends, bullies and a sister with an attitude problem.

An early scene making it very clear that they’re not brushing over Tommy’s heritage and America’s policing problems, plus a bit of generational conflict as his father states his hope that Tommy will follow him into farming their land. It’s all very worthy and done well, but 18 pages in I’m still waiting for space rodents. We hit page 19 and get our first glimpse of the aforementioned space rodent, all giant kawaii eyes and mild injury.

At this stage in human history we pretty much expect a borrowing of concepts (it’s called postmodernism kids), and the creative team lean into the ET flavours early on: witness the homage on the cover of issue 2, in which we name this character Orion and watch them mostly annoy Tommy as they recover from their injuries and attempt to fix their tech.

The story has moved at a decent pace by this point, but nothing much has really happened. Issue #3 corrects that. A tale of intrigue and betrayal occurs in flashback form, and we’re left to ponder the veracity of the various claims made within, whilst also getting some actual plot movement.

We‘re back to the present in issue #4, and we get more action! At this stage, I feel like we’re expanding our space species beyond the order Rodentia so I’ll call them space critters. These critters are small, well-armed, but terrible at aiming in the tradition of all sci-fi. The local redneck police are a slightly better shot, and as implied earlier, they are not inclined to give way to anyone they consider their inferiors. We get an invigorating shoot out, more plot progress and character development, plus a good old fashioned “impending doom” ending.

After a slow but steady start, They Fell From The Sky picks up. The script is nicely written and feels age-appropriate for the characters, bringing in bigger themes without dwelling on them more than you likely would at 12. The art is consistent and has enough detail without ever becoming fussy, and combined with the colour palette gives two clear vibes: an Archie comics Americana for most scenes and a “this is sci-fi stuff” when they’re showing space critter tech. If you’re looking for adult content and massive gore then you’ll not find it here, but if you want decent writing and can cope with the odd cute space critter you’ll find a lot to like.

It will be interesting to see where they take this story from here. It looks like we have two factions with a history of animosity and Earth as their current battlefield, but whether this stays based in farming territory or gets more intergalactic remains to be seen. Whatever the case, it looks like there’s a lot more story to tell, and I’m keen to read it.


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