REVIEW: 'All Against All' #1 by Alex Paknadel, Caspar Wijngaard, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou



Writer: Alex Paknadel

Artist: Caspar Wijngaard

Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: December 7, 2022

Cover Price: $3.99

Writer ALEX PAKNADEL (DC vs. Vampires: All Out War, Giga), artist CASPAR WIJNGAARD (HOME SICK PILOTS), and letterer HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU present a primal vision of humanity gone terribly wrong.

In All Against All, it is the distant future. Earth is long gone, but a race of alien conquerors knows as "the Operators" have preserved its most savage animals in an artificial jungle environment they barely understand.

With no bodies of their own, the Operators move from world to world, harvesting bodies for the organic exosuits they use to wage their endless wars. Ignored and underestimated by his captors is the habitat's sole human specimen, Helpless.

However, when their efforts to find and harvest an apex predator intensify, he gives them far more than they bargained for.



★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

'All Against All' is a fascinating new sci-fi series that puts the science in science fiction. Alex Paknadel has put together along with artist Caspar Wijngaard, an immersive drama featuring highly intelligent alien scientists studying the apex predators from what's left of a destroyed earth. These aliens follow strict, almost military-like, protocols to acquire their data while also seeking out new bodies to wear since they don't have bodies of their own. It's a primal look at earth's animals but perhaps its most deadly predator is the last remaining human.

Paknadel establishes the alien culture in great detail providing the framework of their duties and showing the unpredictability of nature. It's a revealing contrast of intellect and primal instinct as the aliens soon discover that earth's creatures' desire for survival can't be quantified. It possibly foreshadows how much they'll underestimate the human in a John McClane-Die Hard kind of way. For all their smarts and technology, the aliens appear to be in for a rude awakening.

The cold and deliberate demeanor of the aliens meets the untamed ferocity of nature in the same way this science fiction story is unleashed through Wijngaard's wild kaleidoscope of colors and movement. There is a ferocity to the art as intricate designs are slathered in pink, blue, orange, green, and yellow. Alien designs are fresh and the action is kinetic, in fact, the flourish and style in which it all happens is uniquely Winjngaard's creativity and panache. Coupled with Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou's dynamic and expressive lettering, 'All Against All' looks and roars unlike anything else in comics. 

'All Against All' offers the type of intelligent sci-fi drama usually associated with 'Star Trek' in that, science and research are given equal weight to the unpredictability of violent primal instincts. It's a balancing act of creating a logical foundation for the story with some badass visceral conflict. It's the perfect right-brain, left-brain storytelling that'll get your synapses popping.