Written by: Bryant Dillon, Special to CC2K
Fanboy Comics‘ Bryant Dillon reviews Anthony Montgomery’s (Star Trek: Enterprise) new graphic novel, Miles Away.
Fanboy and fangirls know Anthony Montgomery best as Starfleet Officer Travis Mayweather of the Enterprise NX-01 (featured in the TV series Star Trek: Enterprise which aired from 2001 to 2005), where he, and the rest of the crew, boldly went where no person had gone before. Well, Montgomery is back at it again, trekking into unknown territory with a bold jump into the all-ages comic book medium as creator of the exciting, new, all-ages graphic novel, Miles Away, co-written by Brandon Easton and featuring the art team of Jeff Stokely (pencils and inks), Jey Odin (pencils and inks), Dawnsen Chen (colors), and Rashad Doucet (colors)!
MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
Miles Away tells the story of teenager Maxwell Miles, who “feels like an alien” in school and “fights them” after school. Miles’ parents disappeared when he was very young, and he often feels isolated from the other kids at school. Miles has friends and a caring family (in the form of a grandmother and little sister), but he’s always been a shy and awkward kid, so when he started to develop an unusual super power (He can mimic any physical feat he witnesses.), it was both a wonderful gift and another burden on his young back. Throughout the pages of Miles Away, the heroic, young Miles is recruited by a secretive, “cloak and dagger” organization (the Bureau of Ultimate Underground Technology or B.U.U.T.), fights against an alien invasion and pursues the truth behind his parents’ mysterious disappearance.
Miles Away has a lot going for it. We’ve discussed many times at FBC how it sometimes feels as though the all-ages comic genre has become massively over-shadowed in comic book shops by books filled with violence and sex appeal. Given that comics have a long history of being a favorite childhood passion for many and that young comic book readers bring new blood into what some think is a shrinking fan base, young fans and all-ages books are important for the entire medium. This is something that isn’t lost on Montgomery, and Miles Away is a fantastic and exciting book for fans of any age. Along with a great story and a relatable lead character, the book features vibrant and thrilling visuals from the book’s art team and some excellent cover art by Brian Denham. Montgomery and company also provide the graphic novel equivalent of an entire Blu-ray “extras” disc in the form of an exhaustively detailed behind-the-scenes look at the book’s origins, characters, and creative history.
Honestly, the only critique I could offer would be regarding the long and complex introduction at the beginning of Miles Away, which explains, point-by-point, the setting, major players, and relationships featured in the graphic novel. It is an incredibly specific description, but I have a feeling that most readers will find it confusing to dive into this wealth of exposition before reading a single page of the comic. Many readers will probably skip past it, so that they can dive straight into the story, and I don’t believe that will affect their enjoyment of Miles Away one bit. All-in-all, Miles Away is strong enough without the intro and is definitely a book that comic book fans, young and old, will be sure to get a kick out of!
Finally, Fanboy Comics has been lucky enough to receive an exclusive Miles Away video message from Anthony Montgomery for our readers, so be sure to check it out below:
Bryant Dillon is the President of Fanboy Comics, an online conglomerate of geek media, providing its readers with daily reviews, interviews, and podcasts that span the pop culture spectrum. For more interviews, blogs, and reviews by Bryant and the FBC staff, check out the Fanboy Comics website at www.fanboycomics.net.