Space Riders #1
Black Mask Comics
Creators: Alexis Ziritt & Fabian Rangel Jr.
Writer: Fabian Rangel Jr.
Art/Color: Alexis Ziritt
Letters: Ryan Ferrier
It's happened... after We Can Never Go Home last week and Space Riders this week, I am a Black Mask Comics fanboy. This Wednesday and the Wednesday before further cement the rising popularity of the publishing company as well as their quality of work. Alexis Ziritt has a busy page filling signature art style that has primarily been applied to covers of books such as Big Trouble in Little China, Uncle Grandpa, and (some of my favorite covers) Loki: Ragnarok and Roll. He also helped contribute to the Imaginary Drugs compilation book. Fabian Rangel Jr. has written some pretty cool out and there series, including Extinct (which you should check out, it's pretty cool), Los Muertos, and Doc Unknown. He has a writing style that is totally his own, and has also contributed to the Imaginary Drugs anthology.
Captain Peligro... oh sorry, Capitan Peligro (sort of a Han Solo character) captains a skull-shaped starship called the Santa Muerte for an interstellar army known as the E.I.S.F. After being wounded and removed from a battle, he is relieved of duty for one year. In that year he becomes a cranky, unfulfilled individual relying on a bar tab for meaning... until he meets his peculiar new crew (the particulars of which I won't spoil) and returns to the Mad Max-esque frontlines of space.
Rangel Jr. provides an immediate introduction to Pilegro that cements his general attitude toward battle and those that try to interact with him. We also catch a glance of Peligro's dicey dynamic with his new crew. As the trip into the stars commences, we begin to see that it is a lawless place with ne'er-do-wells and dangerous forces constantly threatening Peligro and his crew. Rangel Jr.'s characterization shows the believable brashness of the crew and the "do anything to survive" mentality needed to make it in the harshness of space. Even with the violence and bleakness of the characters, Rangel Jr. still manages to provide a fast paced, high level of fun to the book.
Ziritt gives this story an unparalleled level of visual detail. Scenes in space are occupied by spaceships, planets, stars, junk, humanoids, clouds of who knows what, it's amazing. Each depiction is full of energy and gives the sense that there is action constantly going on. The characters range from humans to androids to anthropomorphic animals to menacing aliens, each of which decked out in their own unique suit of armor and ready to fight. The action sequences are violent, with blood and motions that let the reader truly feel the impact. Color wise everything is vibrant and almost fluorescent, the best example of which being the threatening Santa Muerte. Ziritt is constantly proving his versatility with an ever changing hue.
Yes, friends, Space Riders #1 is a hit. The writing and art are obviously great, but the book itself is designed with slightly yellowed/aged looking pages that give the feeling that the title is kind of an underground grindhouse or indie title (which, thinking about it, it totally is). Rangel Jr. and Zirittt team up and provide a series that begins an enjoyable sci-fi epic. No matter where the characters end up, it's going to be a blast. Get this issue while it's hot! The first issue came out on 4/1 and it costs $3.99.