Sunday, February 26, 2012

Library Book: Cowboys and Aliens

I recently watched the movie Cowboys & Aliens starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. I really enjoyed it and decided I wanted to read the graphic novel it was based off of as well. Luckily the Library had a copy, so I put it on hold and picked it up yesterday while at work.

I have to say: the graphic novel is nothing like the movie. Well, there are some similarities, like the cowboys, Native people and aliens are fighting. And the cowboys have to work with the Natives in order to defeat the aliens. But other than that, this is a very different story from the movie.

The main difference is the very narrative. The prologue opens by comparing tha aliens to the way the Europeans looked at the Native people of North America (and pretty much every non-European in the world): their ways are inferior and so they must move aside, join us (but as inferior savages) or be elliminated. The aliens do this to another planet. So when the aliens actually do show up to Earth, they look at all humans as savages. (And from their point of view, they have good reason to. They have the superior technology, having travelled through space. We have mastered only steam technology at this point, far inferior to them).

I also liked that the graphic novel characterizes the aliens in a way that the movie didn't. In the movie, the aliens are gross monster-like things, doing experiments for no explicable reason (other than to "learn our weakenesses"). Here the alien leader is a jerk who thinks he's superior and is damn well going to show it (ie. kill people) through all his technology. It was a lot easier to relate to him and his followers. Plus they were some sort of galactic slavers (a friend of mine compared them to pirates), which again made more sense than whatever they were doing in the movie (I know what they were doing, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers here. But it really did make less sense than the graphic novel's version).

Don't get me wrong, I really like the movie. It had a great cast and did a fantastic job of being a Western turned on its head. But I think the graphic novel was better.

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