REVIEW: INTRUSION is an intriguing experiment in merging theme & form

Intrusion

Writer: Ethan Sacks
Artist: Marco Lorenzana
Colorist: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Jamie Martinez
Cover: Daniel Govar
Publisher: Heavy Metal Presents Magma Comix 

In Intrusion, available now at your local comic shop from Magma Comix, two families collide with one another in a Louisiana Bayou in the mid-eighteenth century. Although one family may (on its face) seem more sympathetic, both perspectives are given equal weight in this clever one-shot.

An Experiment in Merging Theme & Form

The first thing you will notice about Intrusion is that you can’t really tell where to begin! When you flip this issue over, you don’t fine an advertisement: you find another cover. The pair of covers complements one another, showing the same scene from two different perspectives, with the surface of the water acting as the axis on which the POV flips.

And unlike an English-translated manga, which will greet you with a cute character and a friendly “how to read this book correctly” diagram, flipping to the first page beneath either of Intrusion’s covers will not offer you any clarity on how to begin: both sides feature a title and copyright page (complete with creator credits).

In other words, the first step in reading Intrusion is to make your own personal choice as to which end you want to begin reading from – and there’s no weight pulling you either way. Essentially, you must make an active choice, and while you will end up reading every page in the issue, which story you read first will invariably color your perception… Which is sort of the point, isn’t it?

A Tale of Two Families 

From one side, Intrusion is the story of a French family forced to relocate after the British force them out of their home in Acadia, eventually moving to the Louisiana Bayou after the Spanish Governor gives them five acres of land. It isn’t their first choice, but after a traumatic experience as refugees in Maryland (in which one of their infant children died), they’re eager for a new beginning. However, when they arrive at their new home, they find that a “monster” is already located there. In other words, this is sort of your “expected” period monster tale: a family swept up in historical circumstances end up facing the monstrous unknown.

From the other side, Intrusion is told from the perspective of the “monsters.” However, it’s clear from the start of this story that this family has been living in the Bayou for more than two hundred years when the Broussard clan arrives in the neighborhood. Like the Broussards, this family has their own tragic backstory, which informs their trauma (and fuels their bad decisions).

As the story proceeds, it becomes clear that the two families are on a collision course with one another… And this just bolsters the dramatic irony for the reader. Once both sides of the story have been read, it becomes inescapable that the conflict between them is deeply tragic.

Both families have been scarred by circumstances beyond their control, and in an attempt to regain command of the situation (and thereby ensure the safety of their families), their respective family authority figures make some very bad (but wholly understandable) decisions.

At the inevitable collision in the center of this book, which is handled with the same adroit technical prowess as the covers, the two families collide. It’s a tight, satisfying, and tragic conclusion to this innovative and singular issue. 

Intrusion

Intrusion is an interesting and singular comic that’s available at your local comic shop right now. But be forewarned: this tragic story will haunt you long after you’ve finished reading.

Intrusion is available at your local comic shop today from Heavy Metal Presents Magma Comix.

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The one-shot from MAGMA COMIX presents a collision course between a pair of 18th Century families.
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