Written by Ryan Browne
Art by Ryan Browne
Published by Image Comics
Release date: November 5, 2014
In a world filled with superhero stories, God Hates Astronauts fills in a niche for quirky stories that are just plain fun – and boy is this book fun!
With the third issue in the series, series writer and artist Ryan Browne continues to raise the bar on what a comic book can be. Often times, comic book readers are thrust into serious stories filled with heroes whose actions have great impact on the world around them. God Hates Astronauts is the complete opposite, often going on tangents which seem unrelated to the main plot of the story, and leading to hilariously ridiculous moments which are quite enjoyable.
As a new reader to the series, there were many times in this issue where I was very confused as to what was going on. Normally, this would cause me to enjoy a book less, but here it works. None of the characters really take themselves or the situations they are in seriously, and those situations are so outrageous that it’s difficult as a reader to be annoyed by such things. In one scene, Star Grass – a ghost cow with a cybernetic implant that helps control his “cow urges” – has his implant destroyed and flies off to a barn where we presume he has a rather intense sexual encounter with a bull. His wife, Starrion, seems completely unaffected by such a thing, as if she knows he has no control over his urges without his implant, and simply waits for Time Giraffe to bring her a replacement unit.
While much of this book may simply seem like random, unrelated events mashed together, there are a few story lines which hold the book together. First is the search for The Impossible, a character which makes an appearance in a backup story at the end of the book. The second is the imminent threat of King Tiger Eating A Cheeseburger’s fleet of crab ships heading towards Earth, seeking revenge for the death of his son and violating a peace treaty in issue #1. Ok, so even the central stories shouldn’t be taken very seriously.
The art in this book is phenomenal. The character designs are as creative and offbeat as the story. The pencils are clean and crisp with an art style that’s reminiscent of old 60’s and 70’s cartoons which is a perfect fit for this kind of story. The color work by Jordan Boyd is terrific with a color palette that spans the rainbow and making the art truly pop.
While God Hates Astronauts may not be a book for everyone, it’s a terrific story that never takes itself seriously. If you want try something different and innovative though, this may be the book for you. I look forward to seeing where Browne takes the book in the future, and whether he can maintain the level of humor throughout the series run.
By Martin Ferretti