Space Bastards – Humanoids Graphic Novel Review
By: John C. Mayberry
Murder, mayhem, mutilation, and other meaty chunks being strewn about; these, apparently are just a few of the things involved in being a mail carrier in the future. Not our future, thank goodness, because I highly doubt anyone would survive that chaos. But rather this is the future presented in Space Bastards (you already love the title), a story set in and economically destitute future where it appears a single, high-tech corporate entity reigns with political power and influence over a government who goes further and further into debt by the trillions every day. Co-written by Eric Peterson and Joe Aubrey with art by The Boys co-creator Darick Robertson, Space Bastards is already proving to be a lot of fun in all its sci-fi action, violence, maiming, and profuse usage of adult language that is sure to keep readers entertained and wanting to see more of how this story turns out.
Starting off on part one of Tooth and Mail, the story follows David, a laid-off former accountant who, after taking motivation from a commercial from the IPS (Intergalactic Postal Service) promoting all the benefits that come from being a mail carrier, applies and is immediately accepted into this new career. Accepted into the often violent and back-stabbing network of mail carriers employed who are willing to resort to extreme violence to accept and deliver a package, since the more times a package changes hands, the handling fees increase which then go straight to the carrier who finishes the delivery. With the world in financial ruin as it was, come on, would you pass on an opportunity to live like a king? I mean, granted that you can survive a single delivery job with only slight maiming to your person while simultaneously dealing out the same level of over the top and comedic violence yourself in troves, that is.
Space Bastards is certainly worth the read for anyone who is a fan of a good sci story. With the added bonuses of a very well-written futuristic story that still manages to remain grounded in the real world, a presence of dark humor to add to its entertainment value, action-packed and oftentimes brutally violent sequences represented perfectly, right down to facial expressions of all kinds to boot. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of the Tooth and Mail story and cannot wait for the next installments of this series. Read it, and you will understand fully what I mean.
Artwork – Darick Robertson does not disappoint with this vision into a bleak and brutal future. The characters are very expressive in their emotions and actions, and everything is detailed without going overboard on any one thing. It complements the story co-written by Eric Peterson and Joe Aubrey perfectly to create and excellent graphic novel experience.
Atmosphere – Whether it is in the artwork or in the writing of the story, readers are treated to a sci-fi story like no other. Even within the futuristic concepts and aspects of the story, it still manages to stay within reality, in a manner of speaking. With some of parts of the story being very much inspired by current real life worries and concerns, there is the counterbalance of sci-fi fantasy to emphasize the more universal themes that, in the example of Space Bastards, is just entertaining as hell! Everything fits perfectly together, with no one concept of the story overpowering the other.
Dark Humor – The writing done by Eric Peterson and Joe Aubrey, along with the exceptional artwork of Darick Robertson both together are some of the best examples of dark comedy I have ever read in my life span up to this point. The dialogue will make you laugh and the artwork in some situations will make everything that would normally be so very, very wrong to laugh at all the funnier! It’s okay to laugh you guys, it just means you’re that much saner for being a little insane. Which is good because let’s face facts her kids…is reality all that fun anyway?
Character Development – David, our main guy here, begins the story as a timid accountant feeling unfulfilled personally and professionally, who would rather avoid conflict than involved himself in it. And after a series of events that pushes him to the point of “screw this,” goes from someone who avoids conflict, to someone who has finally had enough of life’s unfairness, and will have no problem brutally ending his conflicts, even if he was not the one to start them. Now if any readers out there are anything like me, you cheered this guy on! The only gripe that some may have with this is that it seems to happen too quickly. You don’t really see that gradual build up that would make David’s transition to an IPS badass that much more entertaining. Readers are given the basic facts, but unfortunately not much else that would shed more light on David’s motivations.
OVERALL RATING – 9.5 out of 10
A great start to what is going to be a great series. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, you’ll even shout “Ooohhhhhhh! He needs some milk!” You likely won’t, but you’ll damn sure get that feeling. As something that I personally think could be considered an anthem for the down-trodden, of sorts, Space Bastards does show some inspiration from real world hardships, and the fortitude someone can truly have in the way that no matter how hard life might hit them, that they can take it and hit back ten times harder. This is definitely something that nobody wants to miss out on.