Space Bandits Vol. 1 – A Heist For the Galaxy
Sex, drugs, and bright lights could be any era right? People all over free loving with crazy hair and even crazier outfits. Now imagine all that head-spinning fun cranked up to 1,000! Now you have the 1980s in outer space. Add in big guns and a lot of attitude, and you’ve got Space Bandits!
You should never judge a book by its cover, but Space Bandits was the perfect book to throw that old rule out the window. Outlaw Thena Khole and master thief Cody Blue have bones to pick with some of the baddest guys in the galaxy. After escaping custody they’ve taken up arms in a crusade of vengeance. And the road trip of crime passes by with flying colors. Fair warning: this is not your average getaway comic. No, Mark Millar and Matteo Scalera have pulled out all the stops for this project. Blood, gore, and alien sex aren’t really my cup of tea, but it was pretty easy to get lost in the bigger picture.
Oh boy, are these pictures something else. Artist Matteo Scalera and colorist Marcelo Maiolo have crafted an incredible picture with Space Bandits. The color palette of purple and orange and red and green and yellow is just so smooth. Had Space Bandits been given the look of your everyday comic would have been a disservice. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the painterly science fiction and space fantasy art on the covers of old novels or magazines.
Scalera’s not-so-sharp style holds the look of this comic together. It would almost be soft if not for the fast paced and heavy action taking place. I don’t know how many aliens he can come up with, but Scalera’s renders them as if they came right out of the deepest recesses of space.I could almost feel them (gross). There is nothing in this book he didn’t handle well.
I wasn’t born in the 80s nor did I grow up in the time, but I caught plenty of references. There’s a giant spaceship with Lionel Richie’s head and a Molly Ringwald district. For the average person, these little tidbits were a fun nod to readers and a bit of a look at what the people of outer space stuck to when the 1980s made it throughout the galaxy. Don’t get me started on the fashion. It was kinda kooky in my parent’s favorite 80s movies, and its kooky in Space Bandits as well.
What really stuck out to me about this book was these two amazing women going up against these rough and tough guys who at first treated them like equals. When those same guys were standing on the opposite end of the gun, they were still treated that way. I hate a men vs. women story that’s all about calling each other by some gender slur, blah, blah. However, Mark Millar crafted dialogue that didn’t at all go out of left field. Cody, Thena, and the rest of the colorful cast aren’t the best people, but they aren’t the worst characters either. It felt like a smooth ride from start to finish.
Millar and Scalera had me hooked on Space Bandits, and I didn’t want to stop reading when I came to the end. While my read through the futuristic galaxy of the 1980s has come to a close, I still have all of Millarworld laid out before me.