Cowboys & Aliens was created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, written by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley, with pencils from Luciano Lima. This graphic novel should have been called Red Indians & Aliens because it was more of Red Indians battling aliens than anything. I can only remember two cowboys in the story, and one of them is actually a cowgirl. None of the characters in this book is interesting at all, and the story is even less so. To break it down, it’s just a mess of people shooting at one another.
Don’t expect a Watchmen or a The Dark Knight Returns, this is nowhere to that level of art. The writing and artwork here is sub-par at best, which is surprising given that this graphic novel is BECOMING A MOVIE. Now, this is not some low-budget flick made by some unknown studio. Get this, it’s produced by Steven Spielberg, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, directed by Jon Favreau, and stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde. Chances are, you are going to recognise at least one of those names. This is serious business.
This is one of the rare times where I’m actually reading the book before I go see the movie. I saw the book in stores and thought okay, this is gonna be turned into a movie, so it’s gotta be insanely good, right? Wrong. I thought that by reading the book first, I would become one of those “the book was better” people (*ahem*harrypotter*ahem*). But after reading Cowboys & Aliens, I won’t be surprised if I go shouting “the movie is better!”, because let me tell you – the graphic novel is not very good.
To be fair, a comic book is a comic book, and there were people out there who worked hard to produce it. So I respect that and am proud to say that I own the graphic novel of Cowboys & Aliens. And to be honest, the premise itself is quite intriguing. Cowboys & Aliens? That’s definitely a good title to sell a movie. I can imagine standing in the theater lobby looking at all my choices for the evening. What’s good today, hmm… The Smurfs… nope… Cowboys & Aliens… hmm that sounds good. From the director of Iron Man? Cool. Starring James Bond and Indy? I’m in!
So whether you have read the graphic novel or not, or if you even care about movies adapted from comic books anymore, this is going to be interesting to see how much longer the comic book movie craze can last. I assume most people are looking forward to the next Batman film from Christopher “Inception” Nolan, but that’s about it. Spider-Man? Maybe. Green Lantern? Who cares. Avengers? What’s that? Cowboys vs. Aliens? What, the Predator died already?