Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

Mike Carey’s the Stranded and Faker (2007 – 2008)

The Stranded

a limited series of five issues (2007 – 2008)

Like 2005’s Spellbinders: Signs and Wondersthe Stranded is another of Carey’s paycheck stories. The Stranded is a five-issue adaptation of a script for a TV show pilot Carey worked on with Syfy back when it was the Sci-Fi Channel. The only front-cover quote states “…just might become the next great TV hit!” Nothing ever came of the show.

None of this really bodes well for expectations going in — and, not surprisingly, it mostly meets ’em at that low level.

The Stranded follows a group of humanoid, super-powered aliens who are ‘sleeping’ through human lives and memories until, in the nick of time, they’re awoken to save the world from a plot that never has time to unfold. (Remember: It’s a pilot.) This sounds and feels like countless other popular TV shows about groups of special people stuck in pervasive, abstruse mysteries that started flooding the networks after Lost captured imaginations. Like Carey’s Faker of the same year, it’s a mash of some good ideas indicative of Carey’s best with — mostly — stupid tropes and action sequences meant to show off big muscles and big breasts. (The art is in the vein of the famously-sexist style that dominated the ’90s — even featuring cover art by Marc Silvestri!)

It’s easy to see how it would have made an entertaining TV show if given the chance. But it wasn’t, so what’s the point? Bleh.



a limited series of six issues (2007 – 2008)

carey_faker_covFaker takes some good ideas typical of Carey’s work — like, it’s heavy on the free will questions and the limits of personality-as-information — and drags ’em through the trash bin so we can spend six issues hanging out with foul-mouthed, stupid college kids acting like foul-mouthed, stupid college kids.

No one should have to do that.


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