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Reviews Tue Apr 05 2011

Review: God Hates Astronauts

God Hates Astronauts #1 is a wild read, courtesy of writer/artist Ryan Browne. What I found to be the most endearing aspect of this first issue was the wry wit interspersed throughout the comic. So few mainstream comics have a sense of humor, it seems that levity in superhero comics is more of an exception than the rule. Everyone is just taking themselves too seriously with gritted teeth and rippling muscles.


The comic features an eclectic ensemble cast, complete with Browne's recommendations for voice talent for each individual. Highlights include a superhero named The Anti-Mugger who has a penchant for only stopping crimes that relate to mugging. All other matters are not his concern. On paper it may not get many laughs but in execution the character comes alive through his sheer absurdity.

At this early stage it is hard determine an exact plot. This seems to be more of a character driven story with an action packed setup that establishes each personality, then the meat of the story spins out from their interpersonal dealings. So far there are only inklings that reveal information about the title. Why does God hate astronauts? The question is never addressed directly but a subtle hint is dropped that points towards an interesting critique of superheroes and how everyday mortals relate to these powerful protectors.

This first issue does have a lot of establishing to do, and doesn't present a full story in its own right. In terms of telling a story of its own, God Hates Astronauts #1 is part of a larger picture. If you plan on dabbling with this comic invest in following the whole run.

The art is a pleasing blend of crisp detail, reminding me of the uncomplicated and uncluttered style of Mike Allred or Darwyn Cooke, mixed with heavy inked lines. The composition of these lines and their sketchy, heavy placement reminds me a little bit of Alex Maleev at times. However, don't mistake that comparison as me lumping the book into a noir art mold. The heavy color palette and irreverent sense of humor quickly distinguishes itself stylistically from Maleev's body of work.

This is an impressive debut from a local author. If you are looking for a book dripping with quirkiness and housing heavy doses of humor, look no further than God Hates Astronauts #1. The second issue is already available at your local comic shop or online.

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