Alien Legion: On the Edge
The French Foreign Legion is famous for taking on soldiers of any nationality and, in return for three years service, offering French citizenship. If you buy into the mythology surrounding this fighting force, you'll also know that the Foreign Legion is a place to hide - a place where desperate men running from life's hardships can escape to.
Alien Legion is a direct sci-fi extrapolation of the Foreign Legion, set in a futuristic universe of interplanetary travel and intergalactic war. Like the army that influenced it, the Alien Legion is sent out to the edges of known space to protect its borders and battle against hostile invasion forces.
It's on one such mission that we follow the Legion in On the Edge, the main story in this volume. Chasing an enemy spaceship they end up being sucked into a black hole. To save themselves, they manage to slip into an orbit around the event horizon along with a bunch of other lost spaceships, some friendly, others hostile. Of course, whether they can get out of the orbit is a whole new problem.
Much of the writing uses clichéd sci-fi language. Swear words are replaced by future equivalents, time is measured in 'cycles' and the Legion's spaceship is called The Piecemaker. If this kind of thing grates, you may as well not bother, as the book is peppered with it.
All this cliché drags the book down a little. The plot is adequate but not gripping, the art gets a bit dull around the black hole (well, it would, wouldn't it) and the whole concept of orbiting an event horizon feels somewhat vague, with no scientific-sounding explanations offered. One for Alien Legion fans only.
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Originally published as
Alien Legion: On the Edge 1-3, Epic 3