Alien Invasions: The History of Aliens in Pop Culture edited by Michael Stein
Hardcover – IDW – Nov 2020 – 175 pages
Readers will meet aliens with eyes on stalks, robot aliens (as in H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds), barrel chested aliens (as per Frank R. Paul’s Martian of the 1930s), blob-like B-movie aliens of the 1950s, “realistic” aliens as featured in the 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (supposedly based on the real alien found at Roswell), monstrous aliens such as H.R. Giger’s creature in Ridley Scott’s 1979 movie Alien, the friendly alien (a thin creature with hands and a tortoise-like head) that’s the “hero” of Spielberg’s 1982 movie, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, aerial predator aliens with giant wings (as created by Wayne Barlow for his book Expedition, in 1990)–and many more.
Whether friendly visitor or fearsome invader, we learn that both the motive for, and method of, invasion has often been influenced by the social mood and politics of the era in which the magazine, comic, or movie was published or released. As for aliens’ chosen method of invasion… not all aliens use ray guns to invade. Instead they employ “seed pods,” mind control, and body transference–just a few of the alternative methods used by aliens to invade the minds and bodies of humans, thus bending them to their submission.
Visualized through the prism of pop culture in this thoroughly engaging 176-page book, which features more than 200 full-color illustrations, all of which are accompanied by extensive captions. Beginning with an overview of the Alien Invasion genre and continuing through nine chapters filled with the most insightful nuggets of information and eye-popping graphics this side of the Van Allen radiation belt.