Wednesday, 1 May 2013

So I Read Spaceman

A 250 word (or less) review of Spaceman
By Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, Vertigo Comics

Spaceman tells the story of Orson a, well, Spaceman: a hulking, Neanderthalesque person genetically engineered to survive the deleterious effects of a manned space mission to Mars. In his inner life Orson fantasizes about the future he was meant to have; the mission to Mars with his Spaceman bruddas. In real life Orson lives a solitary life salvaging scrap from a global warming sunk metropolis, living in poverty, and speaking in a pidgin of broken English and text messaging. That is until he encounters Tara, a stolen child star of the hit realtee program The Arc, which drags him into a cut throat world of kidnappers, criminals, bounty hunters, and realtee producers. Basically it's an exciting crime comic set in a dystopian future. But Spaceman is also a cautionary tale.  The comic makes a pretty provocative statement by contrasting an ideal future where we send genetically engineered supermen to Mars with a decidedly shitty one built of our brainless devotion to media, our growing quasi-literacy, our entrenched economic inequality, and our complete inability to curb a brewing ecological disaster. The fact this ideal future only exists in the head of someone living in the shit future feels like a rather scathing indictment of our society. Suffice it to say Azzarello has written one tight and thoughtful book. Risso, meanwhile, draws his beautiful and expressive cartoon artwork with an elegant brutality that matches the script. Spaceman is well worth checking out.

Word count: 240

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