Advanced Comic Review – Space Riders #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he attempts a review of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

This week Black Mask Studios sent us an advance copy of the upcoming Space Riders #1, released this Wednesday April 1st. Space Riders was written by Fabian Rangel Jr. and drawn by Alexis Ziritt, with letters by Ryan Ferrier. From the press release…

From the galactic core to the outer quadrants, one name strikes terror in the hearts of evil beings everywhere: the Space Riders! Sailing the cosmos in the Skullship Santa Muerte, Capitan Peligro and his fearless crew deal harsh justice to the scum of the galaxy while searching for the forbidden truths of the universe! Fabian Rangel Jr (Doc Unknown) and Alexis Ziritt (The Package) bring you a new and exciting space adventure that will destroy your brain! (in a good way)

Space Riders stars Capitan (not Captain) Peligro, a gruff ship leader betrayed by his first mate, a fellow Space Rider, in the middle of a war. Following psychological evaluation, Peligro is relieved of his command for one year, which he seems to largely spend in a dive bar. He is finally brought back to active duty by his new first mate Mono (who is a baboon man) and Yara, the android who pronounced him unfit for active duty before. They return him to his ship, the skullship Santa Muerte (literally a spaceship in the shape of a skull) and they head out of orbit. They’re attacked by space pirates, and during their escape via interstellar jump they get trapped in ‘The Red Cloud’, a singularity-like vortex that sends them all temporarily mad, damaging the ship in the process. With the navigation out of action, they are sent plummeting towards the nearest planetoid.

This is a loud, brash comic that bleeds nostalgia, and works very well because of it. Peligro is a caricature, but a fun one, and the slightly ridiculous cast of supporting characters, most of whom are anthropomorphised, fill out the rest of the universe. It reminded me a lot of God Hates Astronauts, and I spent most of the read not really understanding what was happening, but not at all caring. Aesthetically the book is a psychedelic homage to Heavy Metal, with bold and intense colours and explosions. The almost kaleidoscopic splash page of the Santa Muerte spinning through the Red Cloud is particularly impressively from Ziritt.

61725072-2b84-4084-8973-773d88095c9aSpace Riders is a fun, over the top comic. I have no idea where the story will go, but it should be funny finding out. Issue #1 is out this Wednesday (1st April 2015), so check it out at your local comic book shop or try it out digitally.

Score: 8 Red Clouds out of 10

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