Review: Get Some Space Western Goodness With SPACE BANDITS #1

FIRST IMPRESSION

SPACE BANDITS #1 lays out a vision for a great story which embraces genre tropes, but never leans on them. Interesting characters and strong worldbuilding are the backbone of the narrative here. It's a great ride.
Writing
Dialogue
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
Lettering
- Advertisement -

Space Bandits #1 from Mark Millar and artist Matteo Scalera is equal parts space western and prison drama, all brought vibrantly to life with an over-the-top eighties’ aesthetic.

This first issue sets our scene: two bandits, each notorious throughout the galaxy. The tables turn on them, though, when they’re betrayed and abandoned to their fates. Now, they have to find a way to break out of a penal colony in space to seek revenge on their former allies.

The Writing

The story’s core is a revenge narrative involving a cast of compelling characters focused around Thena Khole and Cody Blue. Space Bandits #1 reads like a prologue to a much larger story. It establishes our protagonists, and lays out clear motivations for their characters. Not only that, it presents an impressive scale for the characters’ inventive world.

To that point, the real strength in this first issue is the stellar worldbuilding. It’s a solid balance of serious and zany elements that pay homage to classic tropes, presenting with great creative vision. Like, we’re talking space cruisers with ten-story Lionel Richie figureheads and mining colonies set up on giant floating space-god lobsters kind of stuff here. It’s presented with a straight face and commitment to the bit, though, echoing the works of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams in that regard.

- Advertisement -

Millar lays out the narrative well in Space Bandits #1. There’s sparse narration or direction, yet the reader never feels lost as we move from one alien setting to the next.

The characterization is another strong point in the book. Although as mentioned, it embraces plenty of age-old tropes, it pays homage to the cliches, rather than leaning on them. The characters manage to feel fresh in context. There’s a level of dimension to them, elevating them above generic stock archetypes. It’s excellent writing all around.

Space Bandits #1

Space Bandits #1

Space Bandits #1

The Artwork

Scalera’s visuals in Space Bandits #1 strike a delicate balance between refined and cartoonishly animated. Everything has a great sense of vivacity with dynamic images that flow well and match the story beat-for-beat.

The illustrations are detailed and well-composed. We’re not looking simply at a sequence of images that follow the story; rather, Scalera manages to make the visuals leap off the page. It’s vibrant, expressive, and eye-pleasing from beginning to end.

Marcelo Maiolo’s colors play a major role in bringing the art to life as well. He employs an incredibly rich palette that is equal parts space disco and gallery-worthy artpiece. The colors work in perfect tandem with Scalera’s illustratzions to produce a visually-striking final product.

Final Thoughts

Space Bandits #1 follows hot on the heels of Millar’s Sharkey the Bounty Hunter, presenting a similar yet distinct space western vision. Highly recommended.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

AGE OF X-MAN: OMEGA: Thompson & Nadler Stick The Landing

The AGE OF X-MAN��is over, Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson's mutant utopia comes crashing down. AGE OF X-MAN: OMEGA wraps up this X-Men event.

Review: GIDEON FALLS #15 Andrea Sorrentino’s Art Will Give You Nightmares

Gideon Fall #15 from Image Comics hits your local comic book store today; written by Jeff Lemire, with art by Andrea Sorrentino, colors by...

THE WALKING DEAD: The Shocking Death Of An Indie Titan

Leave it to Robert Kirkman to pull off another unprecedented event in comics. The end of The Walking Dead, arguably the most popular independent...

Review: SERA AND THE ROYAL STARS #1 A Mysterious Magical Mythos

Have you ever wished Aladdin was a bit more violent and had dragons? Well, Sera and the Royal Stars is what you've been hoping...

Review: Frosty The Snowman Comes To Marvel In LOKI #1

A sentient (and possibly menacing) snowman is exactly the kind of wonderfully weird supporting character Loki needs

A New Beginning in WONDER WOMAN COME BACK TO ME #1

Wonder Woman Come Back to Me #1 is a reprinting of a classic tale of Diana once again diving into danger to save those she loves.

Review: DEAD END KIDS #1 Is A Somber Murder Mystery

Dead End Kids #1 is the new book from Source Point Press, written by Frank Gogol, with artwork by Nenad Cviticanin and letters by...

Review: UNEARTH #1 – Plunging Into a New Horror Series

Something is clearly not right in the small Mexican town of Mitlán Itzá as Unearth #1 sets the stage for a twisted blend of...
Avatar
David DeCorte
David DeCorte covers comic book, entertainment, pop culture, and business news for multiple outlets. He is also a sci-fi writer, and is currently working on his first full-length book. Originally from San Diego, he now lives in Tampa.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!