Written by Luke Anthony
on Tuesday, October 08 2013 and posted in Reviews
No catchy title needed, God Hates Astronauts is just plain awesome.
Source: Image Comics
If you haven’t heard the buzz about the latest Kickstarter project by Ryan Browne, God Hates Astronauts, a low-brow superhero caricature, then you haven’t had your superstar head smashed in by a 40’s boxing champion until it’s unrecognizable and you have to replace it with a blue cow ghost’s head. That’s something everyone needs to experience, and luckily with this bizarre parody you’ll get all that and more.
Ryan Browne has been mastering this ridiculous romp for 6 years and gladly, he may have outdone himself. It’s rare to actually LOL during a read, but it’s no joke that this book is seriously funny. Layers upon layers of satire are thick throughout the book, jabbing every superhero cliche one could conceive. The common comic book lexicon’s onomatopoeias of Blam! and Pow! are replaced with DEATH!, WRENCHED! FRIDGE! SNACK! and GOD NO! PLEASE! WHY!!! and plenty of other expletives for mature readers. The typical super-force is replaced with more of super-farce. For instance; a sleazy no-good power stealing wife who pulls a two-timer on her hubby with a cowboy who’s into beastiality, an owl gangster, Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger, Carl Winslow with gorilla arms, Sir Hippothesis (a royal hippo in case you didn’t catch that), and so many other inexplicably ridiculous characters. The obnoxiousness doesn’t stop there, it’s the timing of the dialogue that kicks it into gear. You’ll have to read it for it to really take effect, it’s not just one-liners that stand out as gems. All that being said, if you take your comics seriously, this book is not for you, but you should probably get a sense of humor.
The story follows Star Fighter, a hero whose mother had relations with a cosmic star god, giving him superpowers, but he gets his head smashed in, and through a series of tragedies finds himself using the disembodied head of a psychic ghost cow named Blue Grass only to become a new but disastrous hero named Star Grass. He then has one debacle after another stemming from his adulterous wife, a previously murdered enemy turned zombie, necromancing bears, & an incohesive group of heroes called The Power Persons Five. So while the plot may not be the most sincere, it’s certainly entertaining.
Browne raised over $75,000 with a Kickstarter which had an original goal of $15,000, so you might say he’s done well with this hardcover solo project. The Kickstarter rewards were great of course (I got the sideways edition, posters, stickers, etc.) since so many stretch goals were made. Backstories that are fun and entertaining are included in the tail end of the book. Image Comics was smart to pick this series up after the successful campaign, to be released October 9th. I imagine you’ll be seeing much more of Ryan Browne after this. After all, one can only take so much justice candy before reminding oneself that it’s all for fun.
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About the Author - LukeAnthony
When Luke isn't writing reviews, he's writing manuals (occupation), original comics (vocation), children's books, or music (recreation). As a lover of all things high-concept, sci-fi, and/or philosophical, comics found their way into his life only a few years ago, at the ripe age of 26. It was V for Vendetta & Watchmen that led to his pathological media consumption rebirth of 2012. Ever since then, he found himself happier, more child-like, a tad bit smarter, and a much better liar. True to Outhouser gospel, he believes humor, like water, must be present in all things. If it's not, it's too dry & sucks the life out. Sarcasm, the salty demeanor of the South, frightened this idealist in youth, but is now the occasional spice used in his well seasoned personality. He sold all he had to leave his old world behind (cars, house, belongings) & become a full-time traveler across the US of A, a decision that altered his inner world as much as his outer one. If it has humor, depth, spiritual significance, and/or technicality and in that order, then consider it on this briny dude's shelf and up for review. Favorite on-going series include Black Science and Saga. This light, but deep fellow can be found on Facebook and/or Twitter.
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