Writer Andrew Clemson and artist Jethro Morales craft a 6-issue arc that’s equal parts Guardians of the Galaxy, Fear Agent, and a long night at the Mustang Ranch with Star Bastard Volume 1. Along with colors from Teo Gonzales, this crass comic full of lasers and space babes is a cliched and simplistic read but is still plenty entertaining due to its brisk pacing and stellar visual work.
“A foul-mouthed, over-the-top Sci-Fi romp, equal parts Red Dwarf and grain alcohol, Star Bastard follows a long-suffering mercenary crew as they stumble through the universe under the clumsy command of the loud, obnoxious (and invulnerable) Captain Greeves. Searching for clues to Greeves’ shadowy past, they leave a trail of lizard bounty hunters, angry alien empires, and unpaid bar tabs in their wake.”
Writing & Plot
The first six issues in Star Bastard Vol. 1 are an exercise in goofy simplicity. The mix of narrow escapes, bloody space-battles, and scandalous interactions make for a fun distraction of a read – even if it’s in no way original. Protagonist Captain Greeves is basically Chris Pratt’s Star Lord if he had impenetrable skin and if the MCU could get an R-rating. The supporting cast of characters, from the snarky cyborg Molly, to the hotheaded pilot, and the humorless engineer are all character types done time and time again. There’s nothing wrong with a story that treads a beaten path, as it’s all about how the conventions are presented. Nothing in Star Bastard is all that surprising, but it’s like comfort food from a chain restaurant; you know exactly what you’re getting and what it tastes like, but it’s still tasty. Some of the more lewd moments are sure to make some eyes roll, but outside of that, this is a fun and well-paced bit of disposable comics entertainment.
The real star of Star Bastard Vol.1 is the art of Jethro Morales. In terms of character art, action sequences, and world detail, his work here is consistently stellar. The lively, lighthearted animations in the character drawings effortlessly sell the comedy and action in the comic. The character designs themselves aren’t terribly unique, as most if the aliens look either mostly human or like an alien you’ve seen somewhere in a movie. Again though, this is easily forgiven just based on how good the art is. The colors from Teo Gonzales are an absolute standout as well, as they vibrantly pop off of every panel. Ship thrusters and cannon fire streak through space, while neon lights of planetary civilizations glow alight in dark backgrounds. Space-faring sci-fi comics are often made or broken by their artwork, so it’s extremely fortunate that Star Bastard has such a talented team working on its visuals.
Star Bastard Vol. 1 is a goofy, crass, fun romp with a colorful cast of sci-fi characters and excellent artwork. The writing isn’t anything groundbreaking, but it’s well-paced and humorous enough to make the story a page-turner. The art from Jethro Morales and Teo Gonzales is stunning and does a splendid job at bringing this absurd space adventure to life on the page. If this opening arc sounds like your kind of good time, preorder it from your local comic shop or Scout Comics’ webstore!