Art: Eduardo Risso
Published by Vertigo
I had no idea what to think of “Spaceman”. I had heard it was a science fiction tale and I assumed that it had something to do with space. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was one of the most interesting science fiction comics that I had read since, well, “Nonplayer”, which I reviewed several months ago.
Like Nonplayer, “Spaceman” gives us a future where there is incredible technology mixed in with just a terrible poverty for everyone else. But the collapse for the masses seems to be far more intense than in Nonplayer, whose character just seemed to be stuck in a blue collar low wage ghetto. Here in “Spaceman” the global warming apocalypse is upon us and the city we’re shown, we’re not given a name, looks to be coastal town that’s been completely flooded. Here’s a look see:
You can’t tell what city you’re in but you can tell that it’s seen better time. Looks to be populated by an international crew of the Third World’s poorest. Looks like everyone hustles to get by, whether its fishing or selling drugs or being a part of the 1 percent that owns and rules everything. I should point out that the news media is strictly a Truman Show affair where some reality show kidnapping, possibly staged, dominates what passes for news in the “cloud”, as opposed to the fact that your city looks to have been decimated. Corporate media: same as it ever was I guess.
So who is the Spaceman and is it actually about space? A character named Orson is known as the Spaceman. He looks like a fisherman/junkman who salvages from the sea. He’s kind of a failed experiment as someone who’s been genetically engineered to go to Mars but you get the sense he doesn’t have the right stuff, although he’s got a great VR sex life apparently, with sensors. He also looks slightly simian. He must have great strength, speed and agility although its hinted that he’s not the smartest guy in the room. Here’s Orson by the way:
There are scenes from what looks to be a Martian habitat but it turns out to be a drug induced virtual reality that you take orally. This is the only way that Orson can go to Mars. Let me say how fantastic the art looks as well. It actually looks precisely like the team that did Dark Knight 2. If you told me this was drawn by Miller/Jansen/Varley then I would be all in. Nice coloring job too. Strange how certain colors can create a mood for a book.
Overall, 4.5 stars. I just find myself sympatico with the future premise of the book. Lots of hi tech toys mixed in with Dark Ages poverty. You’ll have the newest I-Product but probably live in a moat full of discarded decaying skyscrapers. Sounds like the future we’re going to get. Or as Orson says: “Ain’t no future. My life didn’t come true.” Well executed. The writers of Marijuanaman shoulds take notes.