Overview

Spaceman #2

Review

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Spaceman #2

Credits

  • Words: Brian Azzarello
  • Art: Eduardo Risso
  • Story Title: Missing Control
  • Publisher: 12 Gauge Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Nov 30, 2011

A world of unhindered NASA budgets, reality TV domination, and a strange spaceman.

Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s world of Spaceman is a dystopian mix of reality TV fanaticism, experimental drug use, and strange language.  Caught in the mix is Orson, a genetically engineered spaceman created by NASA to send to Mars, who travels between his dismal life and his imagined mission on the red planet.

One of the first things readers will notice about Spaceman is the odd language Azzarello utilizes.  While many writers set their stories in supposed futures, the vast majority of characters continue to speak in our modern tongue.  Azzarello breaks this crutch by giving each of his characters their own vernacular throughout the story, most notably Orson’s broken language.  In issue #1, this take on language left me frustrated at times, yet in #2 Azzarello seems to have hit his stride; Orson’s speech is much smoother to read, yet still retains the strangeness of his world.  The spaceman’s odd speech is explained, moreover, as Orson’s origin is revealed, a saddening tale of “misguided” science and public hatred.

Amidst Orson’s hunt for a livelihood, the simple-minded hero is caught in the midst of marine explosions, sinking ships, a kidnapping gone horribly wrong, and gun wielding pirates.  Orson proves himself to be both a force to reckoned with, and a tender caretaker to a rescued kidnapping victim.  Issue #1’s Tara, an orphan turned celebrity, is the perfect counterpart for Orson’s meek life, as both find they share numerous life experiences.

Eduardo Risso’s art, likewise, is a great fit for Azzarello’s story.  Risso’s ape-like take on Orson perfectly captures the spaceman’s strange and slightly primitive mindset.  When Orson imagines himself on Mars, moreover, the art style slightly changes to reflect the clean and hygienic setting, while the spaceman’s true surroundings are bleak and polluted.  Hands down the best scene in issue #2 is Orson’s midair roar as he jumps ship to protect Tara, all the while being electrocuted by an attacking pirate who soon finds himself thrown towards incredibly sharp propeller blades.

The first issue in Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s new series Spaceman was good, but did not leave me dying for more.  Issue #2, on the other hand, rectifies this by fleshing out Orson and his world, introducing Tara amidst an action-packed ocean fight, and more importantly sets the groundwork for their odd relationship.  Spaceman is one of the strangest stories released recently, but one that is wholly unique, increasingly fun and interesting, and will hopefully become all the more weird.

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