Royal Nonesuch reviews the much-hyped Cold Space #1, published by Boom! Studios.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Written by Samuel L. Jackson, Eric Calderon
Drawn by Jeremy Rock
SC, 24 pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Dave Johnson
COVER B: Jeffrey Spokes
Diamond Code: FEB100744
From legendary actor Samuel L. Jackson and Emmy nominatedwriter/producer Eric Calderon, the team that brought you theEmmy-award-winning, best-selling AFRO SAMURAI comes their next originalseries – COLD SPACE. When an on-the-run outlaw crash-lands on a hostileplanet on the brink of civil war, he finds himself in the crossfirebetween two warring factions. But in chaos lies opportunity – becausewhere there’s war, there’s money to be made. A hard-boiled sci-fiaction-adventure with covers by Eisner Award-winning artist DaveJohnson and IRREDEEMABLE cover artist Jeffrey Spokes!
It's hard to know what to expect when a comic book publisher getsbehind a celebrity vanity project. Long-time comic book fans seem toget particularly wary, as they question the motives behind the project(is this just a cynical way to build a new film franchise?), andwhether it will leave any kind of a mark on the industry and themedium. After all, these stories don't have a tendency to stick aroundin the collective memory of fans (what was that Rosario Dawson thingcalled again?).
COLD SPACE comes to us from actor Samuel L. Jackson and his writingpartner Eric Calderon, by way of Boom! Studios. Jackson has somecredibility built up among fans, and a decade of Ultimate Nick Fury hasgotten them accustomed to a lead character who looks like him, but COLDSPACE still has all the makings of a project that will not amount tomuch more than another minor blip on the comics radar. It isn't adisastrous outing, but it isn't particularly compelling either. Thestory follows space rogue Mulberry, an interstellar badass with whatmay be the least badass name possible. He's on the run from somebody,for some reason, and crash lands on a supposedly brutal planet, wherehe spends much of the second half of the issue unconcsious. Thisleaves the story in the hands of a decidedly tepid supporting cast,which is filled by gangs and scavengers. Putting the lead character onthe shelf for a large stretch of the first issue of a brand new seriesis an interesting choice, but it doesn't work as well here since thegroup of scavengers and gangsters that the story shifts its focus ontoaren't that strong, and some of the storytelling towards the endingisn't that clear. A better introduction to Mulberry himself may havemade this a stronger first issue. As it is, the world just isn't thatengaging.
The artwork doesn't help matters much. It's well rendered and clearenough, but it feels all wrong for this story. It's very bright andvibrant, but the coloring is too flat and doesn't provide muchcontrast. Jackson and Calderon seem to be going for a grittier feel,but Jeremy Rock's figures are very stiff, and Juan Manuel Tumburus'coloring makes it look like a series of stills taken from a Flashanimation.
Samuel L. Jackson lending his creative talents to a brand new comicbook ought to make some waves, but COLD SPACE sleepwalks its waythrough a competent but barely solid debut issue.