Wednesday, March 28, 2018

William Gibson's Archangel

William Gibson’s Archangel
written by William Gibson and Michael St. John Smith, with art by Butch Guice, Alejandro Barrionuevo and Wagner Reis [741.5 Gib]

I’ve been a fan of William Gibson ever since reading his Hugo- and Nebula-award winning 1984 novel Neuromancer. When I saw that he had authored a graphic novel, I knew I had to give it a shot. William Gibson’s Archangel, co-written with Michael St. John Smith, and with art from Butch Guice, Alejandro Barrionuevo and Wagner Reis, is a fascinating amalgamation of science fiction, World War II adventure, time travel, alternate history, and dystopian fiction.

There are not just one, but rather several central characters, whose storylines all intersect and interweave. Naomi Givens is a WWII-era British intelligence officer, and U.S. soldier Captain Vine Matthews is her ex-lover. When an unexplained event occurs involving the crash of a U.S. bomber, they find themselves at odds, as Naomi tries to locate and interrogate a mysterious pilot who survived the plane crash. That unnamed pilot is the other central character — a soldier on a mission from the future, sent back in time to try to prevent his own future from happening — a future in which the U.S. made a pre-emptive strike against the Soviets at the end of World War II, which led to a dark, dystopian political tyranny in the United States. With the pilot, Naomi and Vince all ending up working together to try to stop a fellow time-traveler from enacting that dystopian future, the other side of the story is set _in_ that very future, with a gritty female military tech leading the rebellion against the corrupt government and trying to still lend assistance to her time-traveling pilot.
The story of this complex five-issue comic book was compelling, and much of the graphics was well done. Unfortunately, the quality of the art overall was quite mixed, even to the point of not being able to recognize some characters during fight and action sequences. I would have given this graphic novel a “9” overall, but the irregular quality of the art drops it to an overall “7” from me.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Neuromancer, or any of the other novels by William Gibson.]

[ publisher’s official Archangel web page ] | [ official William Gibson web site – Archangel not listed on this site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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