Friday, October 28, 2011

Spaceman #1

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Eduardo Risso

It's been a while since 100 Bullets ended.  I only read the book in trade a while after it finished, and still, after reading this comic, I realize I have missed seeing Azzarello and Risso work together.  Sure, there was the Batman Flashpoint mini-series that they did this last summer, but that was more of an appetizer than anything else.  Now, they've returned to Vertigo, where they belong, with Spaceman, a nine-part series.

Spaceman is about Orson, a genetically engineered person who was designed and built to work on Mars.  He may have actually gone there - it's not clear if the scenes we see are dreams or actual flashbacks, but now he's living in a ruined post-apocalyptic city, salvaging metal from the flooded areas of the region.

Azzarello and Risso work remarkably well at setting up the world where Orson lives.  We get a strong sense of the dingy settings he lives in, and that the rich live very differently.  We get a glimpse at some of the technology that makes such dismal living more bearable, such as a form of VR sex and designer drugs, and also of the difficulty of salvaging, especially as the dollar is frequently devalued.

Azzarello has crafted a whole new set of slang for his people to speak, which is easy to understand, and has its roots in current youth slang (true say).  I don't normally buy into that Clockwork Orange, Riddley Walker kind of thing (so annoying), but it works here.  Risso pulls out all the stops in terms of the visuals for this series, and it's a gorgeously ugly piece of work.

In terms of plot, this issue works at slowly introducing everyone, but we do learn through media reports that a contestant on a reality cast (show) where the winner gets to be adopted by Marc and April (read Brad and Angelina) has been abducted.  It seems everyone watches the show, but it also seems that Orson finds her, alive, while working a salvage.

It looks like this series is going to be a thriller about Orson and this child, but I hope that Azzarello and Risso take some time to explore this fascinating world they've invented.  This is a great debut issue, and the fact that it's only a dollar means that if you haven't bought it, you really need to check it out.  There is no excuse at that price.

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