Book review: All Against All by Alex Paknadel & Caspar Wijngaard

Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alex Paknadel is a writer and academic from London, England. His first comics work, the dark sci-fi thriller ARCADIA from Boom! Studios, met with critical acclaim and led to additional projects with a range of publishers including VAULT COMICS (GIGA), Marvel Entertainment, Valiant Entertainment, Lion Forge, and Titan Comics. He is also a founding member of White Noise Studio alongside fellow writers Dan Watters, Ram V, and Ryan O’Sullivan.

Publisher: Image Comics (July 11, 2023Page count: 144 p

According to the author, All Against All tries to answer the following question –  “what if Tarzan were the Xenomorph from Alien?” 
The answer entails savage violence, exoskeletons vs flesh, stellar art, and strong writing.
The story takes place in a distant future ravaged by continuous war. The Operators, parasitic and body-snatching aliens, recreated the most violent earth animals in an artificial jungle. Among them is Helpless, the last human. But is he human? Genetically and physically, yes. Mentally, though, he’s more alien than aliens. He’s a savage creature tearing bodies to pieces with bare hands. 
I loved how the creators twisted roles and made me wonder who is the real monster of the story? The aliens felt more human than the only human here. But they did horrible things, too. One of the alien protagonists, despite being an academic and a bureaucrat, struggles to remain emotionally detached from his subjects, and it has grave consequences.
Wijgaard art is visually stunning with its neon color scheme and strong lines. His knack for kinetic composition and the way he guides the eye took my breath away. The illustrations of overgrown jungles and organic spaceship interiors are stunning, breathing life into each panel with a remarkable fusion of texture and color. It’s a great visual experience.
All Against All is a brutal tale, filled with savage violence. But it’s also an immersive survival sci-fi horror that twists tropes and contains strong writing. Highly recommended! 

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