Overview

Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen #1

Review

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Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen #1

Credits

  • Words: John Layman, Tom Peyer & Jim Massey
  • Art: Scott Chantler & Robbi Rodriguez
  • Inks: Scott Chantler & Robbi Rodriguez
  • Colors: Pete Pantazis, Auelio Alfonso & Dave McCaig
  • Story Title: Invasion of the Optiklons/Horn Like Me
  • Publisher: Oni Press
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jul 11, 2007

Tek Jansen is here! If you don’t like this comic expect some government officials to come calling because you may be an undercover Al-Qaeda operative.

Yes, the star of Stephen Colbert’s famous science fiction novel has leapt to the funny book pages and America is better off because of it. For a mere $3.99 you get two mind-numbingly fantastic Tek Jansen adventures wherein Tek battles nefarious Optiklons and racist Rombaronians. Set in a futuristic world of space travel and aliens, Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jansen has everything you would expect it to have—if you ever watch Stephen Colbert’s show. If not, then the aforementioned government officials might be knocking on your door as you read this.

John Layman and Tom Peyer pen the first story, "Invasion of the Optiklons," in which Tek has to battle a sadistic misogynist only to return home to some very suspicious Optiklons. Though the story unfolds exactly how you expect it to, it is watching Tek go from point A to point B that is so much fun. Layman and Peyer know this and make no bones about it, almost channeling the spirit of Tek Jansen’s creator to write the story. Stephen Colbert’s tongue in cheek political commentary is rife in the first tale. A few hints of sexual encounters, a nude fight scene, and an addition of wacky sidekick characters makes "Invasion of the Optiklons" one of the best Tek Jansen stories I have ever read.

Additionally, Jim Massey’s backup piece, "Horn Like Me" sees Colbert’s character tackle racism. Again, this writer must have poked around the mind of Stephen Colbert because his character is handled as Colbert would have done himself. He is sure of himself, arrogant even, but nonetheless likable in a kind of, "I sure do like to watch that guy and thank God regularly that I don’t have to deal with him," kind of way.

The art, on both stories, is also likable. Scott Chantler drew "Invasion of the Optiklons" and he could not have done a better job. The comic, which does not have a serious tone, needed an artist that could reflect that. Chantler is just that artist. Tek Jansen’s simple, lined, masculine features are what Colbert obviously envisioned them to be. The villains are as despicably disgusting as villains should be. And Tek Jansen, even at his lowest, always remains, artistically speaking, a hero.

While Chantler’s art has a somewhat cartoon-esque flair to it, Robbie Rodriguez, who draws "Horn Like Me," a clear parody of John Howard Griffin’s classic novel Black Like Me, has a more realistic style. The world Tek visits in this yarn is a world much like our own, filled with the "haves" and the "have-nots" and Rodriguez conveys that with a deft pencil. Also, Tek Jansen looks here the way Tek Jansen would look if he was a real man. Furthermore, the villains are a bit more disturbing in their simple devilish appearance. The art isn’t as outlandish as the art in the first piece, but it is a great fit for a great story that teaches a great lesson or two.

Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jansen the comic book is finally here. With a heavy helping of political satire that seems to come straight from the master himself, and a barrel of artists who know how to draw an intergalactic space hero, this reader couldn’t be happier.

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