Meteor Men is a beautifully presented, engaging, and sophisticated graphic novel featuring a perfect marriage of story and art. I was greatly reminded of the movie “The Iron Giant” due to this title’s distinct style, sense of adventure and wonder, underlying message, and appeal for both children and adults. If but for a somewhat abrupt ending, this would be a perfect title.
Story: When a group of kids go outside to see a yearly meteor shower, they are stunned when one of the meteors lands nearby. Alden, a somewhat lonely and introspective tween, saw the meteor land on his property and tracked it down. What he and the other kids find is a meteorite, split in half, and hollow in the center. Soon, Alden discovers that meteors landed all across the world and both educational and government entities want the meteor fragment on his property. Then Alden sees an alien – and he realizes there was a reason the center of the meteor was empty. Suddenly, everything changes as he begins to communicate with the alien, discovery a fearful truth about their reason to be on Earth, fend off the government, and fight to retain control of the meteorite.
The art was beautifully rendered in full color and clean line drawings. It was so perfectly suited for the story that I could not imagine any other artist doing more justice to the plot. I was hooked from the very beginning of the story and could not put it down; I had to see what adventure the author was going to take me on with main character Alden. Although it may seem Alden is the ‘hero’ of the story, there are actually several characters who interact with him and, for once, the adults are not always the enemy. The underlying messages means this is a book you’ll want to read several times.
The story felt very original and the author made some very interesting moral observations that didn’t club the reader over the head. Alden isn’t a wide-eyed innocent and has to think his way through the plot. That he is older and has to deal with teen drinking and the death of his parents mark this as a much more mature story than with The Iron Giant movie. The author builds the mystery slowly and assuredly and the book never drags in the middle.
This is an excellent graphic novel featuring sophisticated art and an original story. Although the ending felt a bit abrupt, the story had a defined arc and completed within this volume. This is one of those rare books without pretension and whose story appeals to many ages and genres.
Reviewed from an ARC.