Review Brew: Astronauts In Trouble #2
Larry Young: Writer
Charlie Adlard: Artist
Larry Young has brought his series, Astronauts in Trouble, to Image Comics. This is also the series that got artist Charlie Adlard noticed by Robert Kirkman to bring his talents to the uber-popular The Walking Dead. It is a reboot of the third installment of the classic AiT/Planet Lar publication Astronauts in Trouble: Space: 1959 from the early 2000’s
*SPOILERS*TO THOSE UNFAMILIAR WITH THE ORIGINAL SERIES
Renowned Channel Seven reporter Kit Draper and his side-kick Chet Archer have followed the clues of a police shooting to a top-secret U.S. base in Peru. The American military is testing a new style rocket and the reporters take the chance to witness the launch. Not all goes according to plan however as the missile crashes right after take off.
AIT #2 picks up after the launch failure. Colonel Macdam, the base commander, believes the crash was an act of sabotage. The trail that Draper and Archer had followed pays off as they come face to face with the “cop” from the police shooting back home who is in fact a Russian spy. While holding the staff at bay with a laser pistol, He reveals that the rocket was a decoy; the United State’s real goal was to launch a rocket ship and become the first nation to put a man on the moon. Before he can continue, the spy is shot by an agent from behind in the shoulder. He takes off for the waiting rocket with the news crew in hot pursuit. Can the news crew and military personnel stop the saboteur before he can board the space ship or will the Russians win the Space Race?
If you are unfamiliar with the original series, this Image Comics reboot might be tough to digest as there really isn’t any formal introduction to characters or plot lines. I am enjoying this series from the perspective of a man who grew up during the culmination of the Cold War in the Reagan/Gorbachev 1980’s. In our history books, pop culture and everyday life as Americans, we were taught that the USSR was the big bad bear and we needed to beat them at all cost. The idea that the Space race took place a full decade earlier than is common knowledge is intriguing. Larry Young is adept at spinning his signature yarn and Charlie Adlard shows you exactly why Kirkman was so high on him to collaborate on TWD. Some are not a fan of the black and white style but I actually found it fit the era that the story was trying to convey.
I find Astronauts in Trouble to be a throwback to a different time, not only to the era of the Cold War but to the post 9/11 American in which this iteration was first created. With a great publisher like Image now backing him, Larry Young will reach the moon and beyond.
4 of 5 Rockets