cover image Harlan Ellison's 7 Against Chaos

Harlan Ellison's 7 Against Chaos

Harlan Ellison and Paul Chadwick. DC, $14.99 (200p) ISBN 978-1-4012-3910-7

Ferociously intelligent and extremely ambitious, this graphic novel adapts the format of Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven to space opera: a wildly diverse assortment of characters must work together to save vulnerable bystanders. As usual, the saviors are outcasts%E2%80%94a renegade robot, a despised mutant, a brutalized slave, etc., while the potential victims are the bulk of callous humanity. To avert a shift in realities that is causing people to burst into flames or transform into snakes, the crew of misfits must travel far back into prehistory, to the time when mammals and reptiles fought to dominate the young Earth. The art by Chadwick (Concrete) differentiates the many characters, adding clean details and exemplary storytelling. The book really comes to life toward the end when the characters must argue against a lizard-man's coldly logical plans to obliterate human history. As in much of his work, Ellison's rage at humanity's many sins must be balanced by his grim, desperate hope for our potential. A throwback to both classic SF and classic comics, this graphic novel updates both just enough to make it a real treat. (July)