[Comic Book Review] ‘ALIEN INVASIONS: The History of Aliens in Pop Culture’ HC from IDW Publishing

PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of ALIEN INVASIONS: The History of Aliens in Pop Culture from IDW Publishing – available Wednesday, November 18th in hardcover format.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…

ALIEN INVASIONS: The History of Aliens in Pop Culture HC

Author/Editor: Michael Stein

FC • 176 pages • $49.99 (SRP)

For the first time ever, read how aliens have invaded pop culture in all its guises and forms in this definitive history spanning over 100 years. See how depictions of aliens have evolved over the years in popular and pulp magazines, comics, on TV, and in movies!

Readers will meet aliens with eyes on stalks, robot aliens (as in H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds), barrel chested aliens (as per Frank R. Paul’s Martian of the 1930s), blob-like B-movie aliens of the 1950s, “realistic” aliens as featured in the 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (supposedly based on the real alien found at Roswell), monstrous aliens such as H.R. Giger’s creature in Ridley Scott’s 1979 movie Alien, the friendly alien (a thin creature with hands and a tortoise-like head) that’s the “hero” of Spielberg’s 1982 movie, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, aerial predator aliens with giant wings (as created by Wayne Barlow for his book Expedition, in 1990)–and many more.

Whether friendly visitor or fearsome invader, we learn that both the motive for, and method of, invasion has often been influenced by the social mood and politics of the era in which the magazine, comic, or movie was published or released. As for aliens’ chosen method of invasion… not all aliens use ray guns to invade. Instead they employ “seed pods,” mind control, and body transference–just a few of the alternative methods used by aliens to invade the minds and bodies of humans, thus bending them to their submission.

Visualized through the prism of pop culture in this thoroughly engaging 176-page book, which features more than 200 full-color illustrations, all of which are accompanied by extensive captions. Beginning with an overview of the Alien Invasion genre and continuing through nine chapters filled with the most insightful nuggets of information and eye-popping graphics this side of the Van Allen radiation belt.

PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
ALIEN INVASIONS: The History of Aliens in Pop Culture HC

Books such as these are the stuff that fans of all ages will enjoy. Well thought out and detailed chapters, rife with history and facts about aliens and their existence within the minds of mankind. How they have leapt from imagination, to the printed page, into pop culture superstardom. Not a single section of this book can be labeled as dry or dusty or even dull. There is so much to be gained from the writing within, not only to educate but to enlighten those who may not have known everything there is to know about alien beings within pop culture.

From H.G. Wells and Star Trek, to Babylon 5 and Farscape, no stone is left unturned in this marvelous book dedicated to a major cornerstone of sci-fi. Not only will fans be given an intellectual feast when they start delving into the contents within, there is a visual explosion as well. Each chapter is chock full of photographs, posters, production stills, and more. All culled together and wedded to superlative writing to broaden the understanding of aliens and their invasion of pop culture.

 5 out of 5 Stars

About IDW Publishing:

IDW Publishing stands proudly at the forefront of printed visual entertainment, cultivating a formidable library of world-renowned licensed brands and creator-owned original IP. Its diverse array of comic books, graphic novels, and art books deliver reading enjoyment to fans of all ages. Its award-winning imprints The Library of American Comics, Yoe! Books, and Artist Editions preserve the valuable cultural history of the sequential art medium, while titles under the critically acclaimed Top Shelf and Black Crown banners celebrate fiercely independent voices. IDW Publishing is a division of IDW Media Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: IDWM), a fully integrated media company with robust offerings in publishing, tabletop gaming, multimedia entertainment, and art exhibition via the San Diego Comic Art Gallery.