Review - Cold Space #1

So I already know that Samuel L. Jackson is a talented individual. I like him as an actor and have enjoyed many of his movies. What I didn't know was that he was also a writer, creator and fan of comics as well! BOOM! Studios certainly did as they teamed him up with Eric Calderon and Jeremy Rock to write and illustrate a new comic called Cold Space for a limited four issue run.

The basic premise for the title seems to be that Mulberry, the main character, is a fugitive being pursued for various crimes. It is the year 4012 and Mulberry’s ship has been disabled by some space police, lovingly referred to as cops. The lead officer is a man named Johnson (apparently these two have a history as they know each other). Think Cowboy Bebop (for you anime fans out there) only with a badass Samuel L. Jackson looking guy as the lead. The stage is set.

After disabling the ship the officers forcibly board it while the engine that was disabled explodes. The officers look like traditional space cops with some suits that look like leather with body armor in various places and helmets. They try to disable Mulberry by firing at his legs, but he has removed his boots and hidden in a vent above them which gives him the drop on them. He is a clever and difficult prey apparently, which must be why there are so many guys after him to begin with.

Everyone throws their guns down and the one guy that tries to fight takes a brutal combination of blows. There must be more to Mulberry than it seems because the other cops have NO desire to fight him. In typical space fashion he ties them all down and ejects them in a space pod to be picked up later on. I’m wondering if Mulberry’s suit is bionic and gives him some pretty crazy powers.

Unfortunately the head cop isn’t a fool and has left an explosive on board and before Mulberry can prevent incoming radio signals it has been armed. He manages to get it off the ship in time, but the resulting explosion triggers one of the only remaining functional systems on board, the warp drive. Mulberry ends up crash landing on a planet that seems to be run by salvagers and thugs. Typical outer rim planet I suppose if you’ve watched shows like Firefly and I agree that that is what it would be like. Mulberry is recovered, does some damage in town when he wakes up, and somehow reaches an agreement with one of the leaders of the nearby town before all the gangs can come after him. The final scene is him sitting with a guy named Mario with a steak dinner in front of him, a cigar in his hand and a smile on his face. That Mulberry is a tricky one!

Okay, let me say that I am a sucker for these sorts of space frontier stories involving outlaws and the like. I could see this story being very entertaining in the same way that Death’s Head (novel by David Gunn) is. This first issue wasn’t anything innovative in storytelling though (as you can tell by my referencing various things I’ve seen the story before). We didn’t really learn anything about any of the characters so I haven’t made any real connections to them yet. There is a sarcastic humor to just about everyone so far which is entertaining but nothing that really connected.

The art is well done, crisp and consistent and almost a throwback to older comic styles. I have a feeling the next issue will let us know what kind of planet Mulberry has crashed on and show us more than the fact that Mulberry can easily beat up everyone if the group consists of five or less people. There is some great potential here but nothing about the story has grabbed me and sucked me in yet. While it is a sci-fi setting there aren’t any real technical details in here that would appeal to hardcore sci-fi fans. Most of the action happened in the background and no real battles or fights took place in the panels.

Overall I’d give this one a wait and see on my ratings if I had any. If you like the space frontier outlaw genre or are just a fan of Samuel L. Jackson’s badass characters pick this one up. While not disappointing in any respect I’m going to need to see issue two before making a final verdict on the writing and execution. Cold Space #1 is currently in stores now.