Published By: Image Comics
Written By: Ryan O’Sullivan
Art By: Plaid Klaus
The world of comics depends on thing above all else for survival: emotion. That’s the bloodline. That’s what makes the books work. It’s why we like certain issues in certain runs and why we dislike other issues in that same run. If everything is BIG! BOOM! PIZAZZ! Then we lose that feel. If everything is slow and overly under-paced, then the same thing happens.
With Void Trip #1, Image Comics came through the side door on their readers. In the midst of the typical smash-bang trauma characterizing most mainstream comics, this title plops an easy going, space hippie adventure into the fray. The premise? The two main characters- Gabe and Ana- are the last two humans in the galaxy and are making their way to some mysterious planet called Euphoria… stealing fuel and committing other petty crimes along the way. Fun right? Throw a strange assassin with a stilted speech pattern into the mix and you’ve got quite the interesting story.
Reading this is like a revelation, because you’re waiting for some cataclysmic event to explode onto the pages and the book is just like, “No. Have a seat. Calm down and enjoy yourself.” And when we quiet the raging hormones of our bloated expectations, we can take in the nuance of what’s happening like small portions of an expensive meal. The flavoring is rich here. Ana’s constant philosophical wonderings about the universe, the purpose of government, and what things mean (and don’t mean) keep her free from any moral attachments. She is so far away in her musings and critiques that consequences don’t arrest her attention in the slightest. There is no conflict for her. Which annoys Gabe to no end, because although he desires the same end as her, he is immensely concerned about the quality of person they will be once they get there.
Not to mention that Ana is high most of the time.
And that the body count of begins its lethal march before the last page is turned.
Oh, and they also have no idea that they’re being hunted.
We aren’t just helplessly spoonfed the lurking danger and intrigue.
We earn it.
The artwork is diversely impressive, complementing the bantering dialogue with effortless magnanimity. While the whole of the issue maintains a throughline of the same style, each of the zoomed in moments contain their own kind of artistic life. The break from “real time” into the drug induced stupor of an alien they met at a bar and offered narcotic stimulants to when he started asking too many questions, is simultaneously hilarious and gripping. We are taken into the fabrications of his addled brain and then, once the moment is passed, we emerge once again into the real world.
This latest Image offering is just so tantalizingly good on so many levels and has all the elements to really go the distance, and become a sprawling saga that the industry will never forget.
5 Froots out of 5