REVIEW: Astrid: Cult of the Volcanic Moon

Because of the way the world is advancing in certain areas, women a getting a lot more recognition in roles that were traditionally, for some reason, played by men only. As that happened, women of different colors and sizes started becoming a little bit more known. The boring straight white male trope is making its way out, though it is a wonder it took this long.

The main character of the book, Astrid, is one such progressive woman. Why? Well, she’s not a male and she actually looks like a real human being. She’s not a size 2 with over-inflated anatomy in certain  areas, and she looks like a person who fits the job she ultimately wants to get: a Peacekeeper. As in, she doesn’t go to work in a bikini and even her hair fits the role of someone who wants to defend the galaxy in dangerous situations and is a non-nonsense type of look.

Kim W. Anderson’s work of science fiction comes to life as we meet Astrid when she’s about to become an official Peacekeeper. It turns out that she is evidently framed for cheating, and in the course of a year goes from tippy top to working odd jobs and flying on a glorified piece of junk for a ship. When she gets the opportunity to perhaps turn things around, she jumps on it, but not without her friend from school and a higher-up’s daughter. Her AI serves as pretty much her only friend in space, though the two are bickering a good amount of the time. Though still, it’s nice to have someone to talk to…I guess?

Astrid takes the reader on a journey through the galaxy, which is everything but the stereotypical black night sky we look up and see. The book is rich with color, and makes use of some excellent contrast and the highlights are imaginative without looking too “the ‘shrooms are turning’ on me, man”. Kim takes what could so easily have been a boring colorless world and puts life into it, from the dark tones on a ship to Astrid’s colorful blue and blonde hair.

We start out with a small but diverse cast of characters, and journeying into various parts of the galaxy only proves to meet up with an interesting batch of creative creatures, all with their own story and wants. Though the book did start off a bit dry and rushed, all 138 pages end up to being put to good use, and the story gets progressively more comfortable and not so rigid. Though the word “butt” is used a lot, like I feel Tina Belcher is lurking somewhere behind Kim’s shoulder or something. People are butts, butts are butts, there is so much talk of butt. It’s pretty strange.

The cover is really nothing special, though it isn’t ugly by any means. It looks the same as the interiors, and could really just be a variety of different panels chosen. But it does accurately represent Astrid and portray a bit of what the reader is about to get themselves into.

All in all, I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter in the series, and learning more about Astrid and the creatures she finds along her journey. (4.1/5)

Story: 4 Stars
Artwork: 5 Stars
Cover: 4 Stars

Writer/Artist: Kim W. Andersson
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

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