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Alienated #1
Alienated #1 Review
February 28th, 2020

In this first issue Simon Spurrier introduces the reader to four high school students who are each alienated from their peers for diverse reasons. Three of the four end up being brought together and, in some very powerful ways, their alienation overcome through their strange new relationship. When one of the three tries to include the fourth in this new-found community, however, the results are catastrophic (and gruesome). The books does a nice job of drawing us into the lives of three of its archetypical outcasts--two of which are tropes and one of which appears not to be—and convincing us that their stories deserve to be told. We empathize with these characters and I, for one, will continue reading the series in order get to know them better. I have a feeling that none of them deserves to be cast out from society, if anyone ever does. But therein lies my dissatisfaction with the book. What of outcast four? Why did Spurrier not find his story worth telling? Did he have no shred of humanity worth discovering? Why is he so overly caricaturized?

After a night of pondering this question—and concluding that probably the story just needed a sacrificial lamb—I considered another possibility, a more pessimistic but more artistically compelling possibility. Perhaps Spurrier is trying to expose the unflattering relationship between communion and excommunication, between in-groups and out-groups: the one implies the other.

Whatever the case may be, this first issue is intriguing even if not ultimately compelling. I will keep reading to see how the characters and the story develop, and to see whether I gain any new insight into group dynamics.

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