Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review and Commentary On The Free Comic Download - Warren Presents 007 Alien Invasions Comix 1979 For Your Old School Campaigns

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Nineteen Seventy Nine belonged to the movie Alien and Warren Publishing was on board that train with bells on. This issue of Warrren Presents pretty much signaled 'we're trying to capitalize on the Alien movie' vibe. But I've always loved this cover and its was a great excuse for Warren to reprint some of their best comic stories with an alien vibe. This magazine could be seen as a cross over point in some respects between the 50's science fiction alien invasion flicks and the 1980's slick movie vibe in comics.
The stories in this issue are not bad examples of the themes from back then at all. With a bit of spit and polish this issues offerings could be used as a campaign spring board for an Xplorers campaign or even a Stars Without Number offering.
The general feel of this issue is the black and white comic illustration work that came from the Warren folks at the time. It was a one shot reprint issue focusing on several themes at once here: science fantasy intergalactic space exploration, a spin of the horror tropes that were coming off of the film Alien, and finally the actual meat of the space adventures that Warren was spinning in this issue.
The artwork is up to Warren publishing standards of the time and in many ways was ahead of much of the material that was coming out of DC and Marvel. Content wise this is a great mag with a heavy focus on the themes that it says right on the cover.  
I love this magazine because its a great throwback issue to both the Fifties Alien invasion, exploration, etc 'B' films that I love and its got its own pull from the Warren Publishing. Here we've got a weird pull from a bit of Star Wars which had just hit theaters in 1977 and the blended Alien vibe which wasn't at all the happy shiny 'A long, long, time ago in a galaxy' bit. We've got instead a Warren weary blend of the two in comic form that takes things in the old school Warren tradition of leaving the audience wondering. This is a old trick from the old Fifties horror comics of E.C. and its a trick that can be used to end a sci fi horror based rpg. Something I've done several times when all is lost with players and handed them a new character sheet. Much of the ideas in this issue can be used as jump off points and hooks to get the PC's involved in the gist of the dangling plot holes that always seem to hang from these stories. That's not always a bad thing and can enable a DM to take the action in several directions. All in all not a bad issue at all with some great ideas to borrow for a science fiction or fantasy based one shot or jump off point.  

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