Saucer Country

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Saucer Country
Cover to Saucer Country #1.
Publication information
Publisher Vertigo
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre Sci-fi, Political Thriller
Publication date March 2012 – April 2013
No. of issues 14
Creative team
Created by Paul Cornell
Ryan Kelly
Written by Paul Cornell
Artist(s) Ryan Kelly
Letterer(s) Sal Cipriano
Colorist(s) Giulia Brusco
Editor(s) Will Dennis

Saucer Country is a discontinued UFO mythology comic book series written by Paul Cornell and drawn by Ryan Kelly, published by Vertigo in 2012 and 2013. The series is about a US presidential candidate, Governor Alvarado, who has come to believe she may have been abducted by aliens.[1] The series began publication in March 2012.[2][3] The series is a blend of a political environment and stories of aliens and UFOs.[1]

Starting in May 2017, a sequel series, Saucer State, began publication at IDW. Saucer State will last for six issues, and then will have a six issue follow-up and conclusion.[4]


The main plot of Saucer Country is about Arcadia Alvarado, the Hispanic governor of New Mexico now running for presidency. Arcadia believes that she had been abducted by aliens one night, and embarks on a mission to get to the bottom of the mystery while running for the position of President at the same time.[1][5]

Describing the series on his website, Cornell wrote-[6]

Saucer Country is a trip through UFO mythology, a subject I've always been fascinated with. It's a dark, suspenseful, serious thriller with, I hope, some warm, very human characters at the heart of it.

The series also features short stand-alone stories besides the main plot. These stories are "true stories"- accounts of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens.[7]


Arcadia Alvarado functions as the governor of New Mexico and is considered to be the primary Democratic candidate for the position of the President of the United States. Arcadia is caught in the middle of a volatile political situation as she is running for Presidency and dealing with her duties as governor at the same time. Arcadia also has to deal with her alcoholic ex-husband Michael. However, Arcadia claims to have been "abducted by aliens" one night, but only retains glimpses of her encounter with the extraterrestrial beings and does not remember the entire story. Thus, with the help of her fellow workers and staff, Arcadia tries to solve the mystery about her apparent abduction by the aliens. A former Harvard professor, Professor Kidd, is also keen on getting to the bottom of Arcadia's claim.[1][8]


  • Governor Arcadia Alvarado: Arcadia is the main character of the series. She is the governor of New Mexico and is of Mexican-American heritage. She is the one who claims to have been abducted by aliens, but is not able to fully justify it due to her not retaining the complete story. She has a determined and focused personality.[1]
  • Professor Kidd: Professor Kidd is a former Harvard professor and has a deep interest in UFO mythology, even though he carries a skeptical approach towards it. He has strange encounters with a mysterious couple who provide him with advice and instructions occasionally.[1]
  • Michael: Michael is Arcadia's ex-husband. Michael is addicted to alcohol[8] and lacks the heroism Arcadia usually displays. He is present in the car the night Arcadia claims to have been abducted.[1]


The series received generally positive reviews. James Hunt of Comic Book Resources commented on the first issue, noting "Doubtlessly, "Saucer Country's" success is due to the combined and prodigious talents of Cornell and Kelly. " but also criticized the issue for ending too quickly.[9] Geeks of Doom described it as "what’s sure to become a beloved classic comic book series and that one day we will look back on this first issue in wonderment and think 'I can’t believe all that’s happened since then"[10] Comics reviewer and writer Joey Esposito of IGN have the first issue an 8 out of a possible 10, and summarised- "Out of the gate, Saucer Country looks to be another solid entry worthy of the pedigree of Vertigo Comics."[11] However, he also pointed out that writer Paul Cornell focuses too much attention on Arcadia and "bizarre elements" and in doing so "ultimately subtracts from the grounded base that is established here."[12] He also praised Ryan Kelly's art, especially his characters' body language and expressions, but criticized the colouring of the issue.[13] The series was cancelled after 14 issues.

The first volume was nominated for the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, but lost to the first volume of Saga.

Collected editions[edit]

  • Saucer Country Vol. 1: Run (144 pages, collects Saucer Country #1–6 ISBN 978-1-4012-3549-9)
  • Saucer Country Vol. 2: The Reticulan Candidate (176 pages, collects Saucer Country #7–14 ISBN 978-1-4012-4047-9)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Rogers, Vaneta. "Presidential Election Meets Sci-Fi in SAUCER COUNTRY". Retrieved 6 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Saucer Country #1". Vertigo. 
  3. ^ Hunt, James (15 March 2012). "Saucer Country #1". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Politics Not Weird Enough? Saucer State Pits the President vs. Aliens
  5. ^ McMillan, Graeme. "Development Deal: Saucer Country". Spinoff Online. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  6. ^ Cornell, Paul. "Saucer Country". Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Rogers, Vaneta. "Presidential Election Meets Sci-Fi in SAUCER COUNTRY". Retrieved 6 November 2012. The comic also includes accounts of "true stories" about people who claim to have been abducted by aliens, as Saucer Country examines the mythology surrounding UFOs in both the real world and its fictional one. 
  8. ^ a b "Saucer Country". 
  9. ^ Hunt, James. "Review: Saucer Country #1". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Saucer Country #1". Geeks of Doom. 
  11. ^ Esposito, Joey. "Saucer Country #1 Review". IGN. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Esposito, Joey. "Saucer Country #1 Review". IGN. Retrieved 14 March 2012. Because this issue focuses so intently on Arcadia, the brief two-page scene that leads us across the US to Harvard feels a bit out of place. While it clearly sets up another major player in the series to come, his role falls firmly in the more bizarre elements that will come to play a role but ultimately subtracts from the grounded base that is established here. 
  13. ^ Esposito, Joey. "Saucer Country #1 Review". IGN. Retrieved 14 March 2012. Kelly's figures are incredibly strong, accurately structured, and varied in design, offering solid body language and emotion that sells every scene, no matter the tone. However, one fairly major gripe with the art on this book is the coloring, which often muddies the texture of Kelly's inks as well as flattens the depth of the backgrounds.