Dear Ghost Factory. What Should I Read?
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
Two people share a final glimpse at Earth as it is set asunder, each continent issuing echoes towards the sky in the form of flames. The man, a hulking troglodytic creature, carries upon his shoulder a young girl, her hair dangling to her shoulders. The mass they stand upon isn’t specified but the red hue surrounding the image subtly points towards Mars. Their shadow’s cast out behind them created by the light generating from countless lives glued to screens, tapping touch pads, shouting orders over wires and yet the feeling is calm. A plain image representing the immolation of a way of life as we stand back and watch the show.
What you brainin’ as you scope?
Welcome to the dystopian future brought to you by the creative team behind the Vertigo comics masterpiece 100 Bullets. Brian Azzarello (Wonder Woman, Loveless, Johnny Double) and Eduardo Risso (Flashpoint: Knight of Vengeance, Johnny Double both with Azzarello, Logan and many others) bring you Spaceman. The nine-issue mini-series sharing the story of Orson, a genetically engineered, ape like spaceman sent with other creations like himself to Mars in an effort to Terraform the planet, eventually leading to the discovery of something far more valuable and resulting in a few spaceman casualties. Meanwhile on Earth, a planet where speech has been significantly bastardized into choppy Clockwork Orange style newspeak, (“No time to splane. Orson, you be hero, say”) ‘realtee’ television attracts all media attention and the red crater sized split between classes is literally a wall segregating the rich from poor.
Years after the events of Mars’ Spacemen, Orson finds himself a garbage salvager and hasn’t spoken to any of his brothers since. The most popular ‘realtee’ show the Ark has had a recent development where one of the children featured on the program, Tara, has been kidnapped. How these two events coincide and eventually involve the truth of what happened on Mars between the Spacemen all those years ago is revealed bit by bit over the nine issues and the result is an amazing story of misfits, loyalty and the slow decay of North American culture and society.
I don wan go beyond
As this, one of the most truly unique comics I have ever had the pleasure of following from day one, develops we jump back and forth from Orson’s time on Mars with his bradahs and Orson now caught up in a kidnap plot with bounty hunters, cops (heat) and news helicopters hot on his trail. One man trying to track down Tara happens to be Carter, Orson’s seemingly vindictive, angry and ruthless bradah from the Spaceman project. The relationship between these two characters is one filled with so many surprises and developments that prove once again the 100 Bullets team have clever tricks up their sleeves that no other creative team quite parallels.
Science fiction heaped in speculative overtones, Spaceman is a comic series like no other on the shelves. The ending caps off another amazing run (although this time much shorter) from the same group that brought you one of the most intensely brilliant crime epics ever put on paper and provides Spaceman with a complete package of sci-fi originality and experimentation. Definitely go back and revisit the series in single issues or wait a few months for the deluxe hardcover from Vertigo Comics.
He be a Spaceman that made something of himself