Comics Anonymous

SPACEMAN #1 by Craig
November 5, 2011, 12:43 pm
Filed under: Comic Reviews, Vertigo Comics | Tags: , , , ,

While reading Spaceman #1, there’s three reasons you know you’re reading an Azzarello/Risso book. 1) The paper 2) The compelling story and world that they have created and 3) It’s totally fucking nuts!

I’ve been waiting for this book to come out for months now, and it doesn’t disappoint. As I pointed out way at the start of this blog with my review of Batman Knight of Vengeance, I really like Azzarello & Risso’s work, and together they are unstopable. It’s frightening that since 100 Bullets they haven’t worked on more books together – but let’s be thankful for what we do have.

Spaceman couldn’t be farther away from 100 Bullets, but yet it’s still full of atmosphere and interesting characters. Set sometime in the future when mankind has decided that antics in space is too dangerous for real people, it instead sends genetically engineered beings on missions to Mars. Orson is one such being who braved the Mars landscape but now lives back on earth with no job and a weakness for virtual prostitutes and mind bending drugs. If that all sounds messed up, that’s not the half of it. Between flashbacks of his Mars mission, we’re party to snippets of a kidnapping story running parallel to our main protagonist’s one.

I’d be lying if I said this is what I was expecting, but there’s no way you can predict what’s going to come next from this pair. It’s nice to see that although Azzarello has been doing some mainstream stuff like Batman and Wonder Woman, he’s still finding the time to release a book like this. The guy has some serious skills when it comes to writing, with a strong natural ability to weave plots together beautifully. The world that he’s created is somewhere between future-Gotham and Waterworld. It’s all gone to shit, a future we’re all scared of where global warming causes the seas to rise and language is reduced to syllabic text speak. Linsay (a fellow CA blogger) compared the speech to that of A Clockwork Orange, an almost made up future language, that appears as indecipherable as today’s lanuage probably seems to a caveman.

Risso perfectly matches Azzarello’s script, contrasting the bright red planet surface with the dark reality back home. His work sometimes reminds me of Frank Miller’s – there’s usually more black on the page than any other colour, most characters either in the shadows or drawn in silhouette. I’ve always liked how he draws characters, and in this story the unusual nature of their faces really helps cement the characters in a messed up future world.

If you needed any further convincing, the first issue is only $1 (so 69p in the UK) which is about the price you’d pay for a half decent bag of McCoy’s these days – but you’ll get more enjoyment out of this comic, I can assure you.


Craig @hastiecraig

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