Humans fight or collaborate with their alien captors in an effort to survive a harsh prison camp in the science fiction graphic novel Stalag-X.
A decade-long war against the alien race called the Krael has humanity in desperate straits. Stalag-X begins as the Krael successfully attack a spaceship and haul their captives, including the main character, “Joe Human,” to a prison planet. There, Joe meets other humans—some of whom, like a trenchcoated female assassin named Deacon, have survived by working with the Krael—and begins to piece together a mystery that could give humans the chance they need to defeat their alien enemy.
Reminiscent of World War II prisoner-of-war films like Stalag 17 and The Great Escape, Stalag-X isn’t afraid to play those influences for humor, with characters including a “Camp Commandant” and an alien experimenter who wears a monocle and goes by the nickname “Mengele.” Ratera’s art fleshes out the alien planet of Pondafier in great detail, though his human figures are occasionally a bit stiff-looking.
The authors utilize Joe as a classic lantern-jawed, tough-guy hero, with a few new twists to keep things interesting. It’s not surprising that the story reads like a TV miniseries, given Sears’s background in the industry; with an ending that invites future stories, and a novella by Anderson about Deacon included at the end of the book, the authors clearly have more media opportunities in mind for the characters and setting of Stalag-X.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.