Review - Space Riders #1

"--and it's Capitan Peligro."

Venturing into space requires the right equipment and the right people. A shortcoming in either regard and your trip into space could turn into a nightmare. Finding that right combination is always a challenge, which is sometimes why you just have to settle for the devil you know. Black Mask delves into such a scenario in Space Riders #1. The issue is written by Fabian Rangel, Jr., illustrated by Alexis Ziritt and lettered by Ryan Ferrier.

From the galactic core to the outer quadrants, one name strikes terror in the hearts of evil beings everywhere: the Space Riders. Sailing the cosmos in the Skullship Santa Muerte, Capitan Peligro and his fearless crew deal harsh justice to the scum of the galaxy while searching for the forbidden truths of the universe.

Off the bat it's readily apparent that Space Riders #1 is very unstable and it makes for pretty off-kilter reading. Rangel, Jr., seems to draw upon books such as God Hates Astronauts and Punks, as there's an outlandishness to the characters and events that just feels silly. That silliness is capitalized on in a great way though, as it gives the rest of the book a very tongue-in-cheek attitude that's befitting of the plot. That plot blends some aspects of space sci-fi with a general foolishness on the part of the characters that makes for a somewhat ridiculous tale. Capitan Peligro has an air of confidence about him that matches up well with the foolhardiness of the issue in general.

Accompanying the outlandish tale is Ziritt's art, which can best be described as psychedelic. There's really no clear distinction between panels and background pages, as Ziritt allows all the art to fill whatever space is available to him. It's very easy to imagine finding Space Riders #1 up in an attic somewhere after decades of being forgotten, as the pages have that nostalgic, weathered appearance to them. Zirritt isn't shy about mixing up the character types, as there's quite a variety of leading characters in Space Riders #1 that underscore the sheer insanity of that world. Additionally, Space Riders #1 boasts an impressive mix of colors that further emphasize a mind-bending experience.

Space Riders #1 is pretty out there. That's the biggest selling point of it for sure, as readers will definitely find the shenanigans of the issue somewhat endearing and an interesting read. Ranel, Jr. gives the book a purpose despite the seemingly erratic approach to life on the part of the main characters. Ziritt's illustrations are shaky and the perfect fit for the story's no-holds barred approach. Space Riders #1 is a pretty fun first issue that doesn't shy away from the fact that it's unhinged in many respects.

Space Riders #1 is in stores April 1 with interiors below.