Becky’s still having visions, and Malcolm’s still jealous as all get-out. As we head into the second half of James Tynion IV and Noah J. Yuenkel’s trippy tale, what will the pair discover? Is it good?
UFOlogy #4 (BOOM! Studios)
Malcolm really shouldn’t get down on himself. He’s just got different skills. He can’t see alien visions, but he’s pretty good at whipping up a device to stop the ones Becky’s having. It’s a bit disappointing that as we begin this issue, we’ve yet to see a genuine alien (oxymoron implied), but that thing on Becky’s face keeps pulsing like a beacon. And by the time #4 closes, it’s brought her more attention than the two can handle.
Told through flashbacks, UFOlogy #4 is a story of mistakes. We all make them, but what if they can be prevented? Malcolm’s dad thinks we should be allowed to make our own mistakes, even though a vary large one of his may have cost Malcolm his mom 10 years ago. Someone up above (and I’m not talking about the big G) seems to disagree, when it’s explained to Becky that the biggest mistake of all may be made in the very near future.
Good thing the sheriff is racing the rescue! Oh. That could be very bad, actually.
Is It Good?
UFOlogy #4 continues the thrust of the entire series so far, reminding us that we all have our place and purpose, even if it’s not the one we’d like to have. Being unable to see the weird as a child may have actually girded Malcolm against it. He’ll have to deal with not “win[ning] prizes” for this discovery, and Becky will have to live with being a conduit for an inscrutable race of space-faring super beings. You never know where life will take you!
Sometimes it takes you to an orbital craft where spherical things speak in pictograms reminiscent of Hawkeye’s dog on a mission. These are a little hard to interpret, but you can pretty much get the gist. And if not, it might actually make for a sweeter moment when you really figure out what’s going on.
And that’s one of the great things about this book. There’s a lot going on. It really takes a couple reads to nail down all the important points. At first, I didn’t realize those boxes showing up at the junkyard were the same ones sent from the hospital. I wonder what that’s about.
Adam Metcalfe’s colors are stunning as always, and he even shows a bit of unexpected range here, with a lack of pastels for the truly creepy moments. Matthew Fox draws a neat, forested dream sequence at one point, but Metcalfe is still the star of this show.
The best thing about UFOlogy #4 is the return of the offbeat humor in the face of potential global catastrophe. It glimmered a bit in the previous issue, but finally shines again here. The apparent upping of the stakes might seem a little out of place for what’s been a smaller, quainter story until now, but it’s nice to see the creative team can balance worldwide threats against personal growth. Not many people can.