I haven’t been a huge fan of writer Brian Azzarello. I didn’t really enjoy his take on one of my favourite characters, John Constantine, in the pages of the dark Vertigo series, Hellblazer at the turn of the millennium. Because of that experience, I didn’t read his Eisner Award winning, hard-boiled monthly series, 100 Bullets, although I was aware of the critical acclaim that title received.
His Wednesday Comics Batman run, however, caught my attention and became one of the best superhero serials that series produced in it’s 24-issue run. His Joker graphic novel with artist Lee Bermejo read like a sequel to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight film. And I have to say that, although early in the game, his current Greek-mythology influenced Wonder Woman holds much promise too.
Azzarello can be a particularly prickly fellow at comic book convention panels, which doesn’t necessarily endear him to everyone. Still, when DC/Vertigo Comics announced a new science fiction based series by the writer, my eyebrow was quizzically raised. He had already tackled so many genres in comics – and science fiction is currently not the most popular of those varieties. But Azzarello, if nothing else, enjoys a writing challenge.
Teamed once again with amazing artist Eduardo Risso (of 100 Bullets fame and the Batman serialization in Wednesday Comics), the nine-issue monthly series, Spaceman, tells the story of a hulking loner loser, affectionately named Orson. Although the comic is set in a future time where space-travel and genetic engineering is a way of life, the seeds of Orson’s desires are sown in the oldest of character arcs: the protagonist dreams of a star-trekking existence away from his scrap metal collecting job; a life replete with pirates, celebrity child kidnappings, dirty drugs and, of course, other planets! The series is called “Spaceman” after all!
Yeah. The themes sound incredibly Azzarello. Only the century – or should that be the millennium? – has changed.
If you’re looking for character-driven, take-no-prisoners grit and violent storytelling, all set in a futuristic time, Spaceman is the comic book you’re looking to read. The fact that it will last a manageable nine monthly issues is a bonus for anyone looking to start reading the sequential comic book format for the first time. But don’t put the reading of Spaceman too far off into the future. The debut issue is specially priced at a buck!
Now that’s the kind of comic book candy that should see everyone make the Wednesday Run this week with an eye towards grabbing a copy of Azzarello and Risso’s Spaceman!
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!