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Comic Book / Saucer Country

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Professor Kidd: Governor, you're a politician. You're used to dealing with the art of the possible. This is the opposite. Some sort of faux therapist, a... new age guru you brought in, like some politicians do — they'd have reassuringly solid answers for you concerning the great beyond. But I deal in mythology. And this is what a mythology does, it bridges the gap between truth and lies. It creates a disturbing liminal zone. A grey area. And in that space, all of a civilisation's weak spots and shortcomings and hypocrisies are made visible. New Mexico is kind of haunted by this myth. As I hope I'm about to show you. We're in saucer country now.

Saucer Country is a UFO mythology comicbook series written by Paul Cornell and drawn by Ryan Kelly, published by Vertigo Comics in 2012. The series is about a US presidential candidate, Governor Arcadia Alvarado, who has come to believe that she may have been abducted by aliens. It has been described as a mix of The West Wing and The X-Files.

In 2013, Vertigo Comics cancelled the book at issue 14 due to low sales. However, IDW Publishing picked up the rights to the series and revived it with both Cornell and Kelly aboard, and with a new title: Saucer State.


Saucer Country provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Michael is a recovering one, but the stress of the election campaign and his abduction have caused him to somewhat relapse.
  • Alien Abduction: Arcadia and Michael are both abducted and returned on the same night. Senator Kersey, Arcadia's opponent for the Democratic primary, was previously abducted and regularly visited after, but the aliens lost interest when he dropped out of the Presidential race.
  • Aliens Are Bastards
  • All UFO Stories Are True
  • Amicable Exes: Arcadia and Michael, although the other characters suspect that Michael's physically abusive.
  • Anal Probing: Played dramatically; Arcadia and Michael are victims of this and they explicitly call it rape.
  • Batman Gambit: Arcadia pulls one off on the Pioneer Couple by having Professor Kidd fake a suicide attempt in order to get the couple to lead Kidd to definitive physical proof of UFO's. When they've led him to the item, Fausto and his men take them down at their home, where they've been projecting into Kidd's mind with a device.
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  • Continuity Nod: Lampshaded by Professor Kidd when the Pioneer Couple visit him while he's riding an airplane again in issue 13.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Issue 11 focuses on Michael's childhood and strange encounter with fairies.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Chloe has shades of this.
  • Election Day Episode: What the series has been leading up to with its first season. Arcadia wins.
  • Flashback: Issue 11 discusses Michael's childhood and possible interactions with fairies.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Zigzagged.
    • The visitations made by aliens take different forms depending on the person, the state of technology of the time period, and any expectation of what an alien might look like, but none of these forms are actually comforting.
    • Michael visualizes the aliens as rabbits in a therapy session to remain comfortable.
  • Mr. Exposition: Justified with Professor Kidd, who is hired by Arcadia's team to explain UFO's and make sense of the abductions.
  • Past Experience Nightmare: Arcadia and Michael after their abduction.
  • Reptilian Conspiracy: The group or type of aliens that abducted Senator Kersey and Ms. Bates.
  • The Reveal: Issue 13 and 14 reveal that the Pioneer Couple that Professor Kidd has been hallucinating are in fact actors who have been projecting themselves into Professor Kidd's mind.
  • Ship Tease: Arcadia and Michael seem to be on their way to rekindling their marriage but it turns out that neither are interested in being anything other than friends.
    • Chloe is hinted to be attracted to Michael.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In issue 2, Professor Kidd panicking while on his plane ride about something outside the plane window is very similar to The Twilight Zone story "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet".
    • The Pioneer Couple's repeated descriptions of themselves as Kidd's "supernatural helpers" is a shout-out to one of Jedburgh's lines in Edge of Darkness.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Arcadia and Michael visit one in order to ascertain whether or not they hallucinated the abduction.
  • Time Skip: There's a short one in between issues 11 and 12, where the series jumps a couple of months from Arcadia winning the Democratic primary to election night.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Harry, while mildly skeptical of the abduction, nonetheless takes it and the subsequent revelations about UFO's in stride.
    Chloe: Do you believe her?
    Harry: I believe... I believe that by the time we figure out what actually happened, she'll be president.
  • Wrap It Up: The IDW miniseries Saucer State provides an ending to the story four years after Vertigo cancelled the comic.