Space Bandits #1 // Review
Image Comics explores the shadowy side of intergalactic scum in a story of thieves, pirates, and others in Space Bandits. Writer Mark Millar crafts a story drawn by Matteo Scalera. It’s a stylish action adventure with an explosive percussion of action and powerful attitude that drips off the page. The sci-fi fantasy world Millar and Scalera bring to the page is one that wears its galactic tech design with a very clever hipness that launches a whole new series featuring a couple of women looking for revenge from those who have double-crossed them.
Thena Khloe and Cody Blue are a couple of the most wanted felons in the universe. Cody made the mistake of gathering together the baddest of the bad to manage a massive theft...only to find herself shot into space when the job was over. Thena had a really good thing going as a con artist. She and her lover went around the galaxy, collecting the reward money for her capture. He posed as the bounty hunter who brought her from Sundar to Cassio to the Forbidden Beaches of Fox-Piari. Then one last job found her put away for good on the penal mining colony within a giant dead intergalactic crustacean. That’s where she met Cody. They’re two very desperate people that are going to be very, very dangerous when they’re cornered.
Millar develops a fun story that wears its setting like a really cool costume. This same story could be set in the old west or the age of piracy or in some sort of high fantasy setting. This is that space fantasy world where people shoot across the galaxy with the ease of an interstate drive and live to be hundreds of earth years old. Millar brings a stylishly, scummy world to life. A couple of confident, formidable heroines are cast into situations which amplify their vulnerability. It’s a respectably deft bit of characterization. All else aside, this is a character-driven story about a couple of women out for revenge, which is exceedingly fun in its first issue.
Scalera brings in the pain with bone-jarring physical violence that erupts from the panels. The design element has a smart kind of rock and roll aggression about it. There are blasters and hot rods shooting through space in the far future, but this is a story of ruthless physical aggression between people who will use even the lowest tech fist to solve a problem that might otherwise have a far more elegant solution. The shadowy space fantasy grins out of the corners of every page, slickly moving the story through a series of very dynamic scenes.
In the first of five issues, Millar and Scalera’s Space Bandits slices through 25 pages with a very poised design-conscious delivery of energy that works. It’s a smart mash-up of various genres that solidly settles into a kind of a late 1980s sort of a mood with bright colors and big cities coating the galaxy with just enough shadow to let the unseemly side of society leech out onto