The 1980’s Arrive Late In Space Bandits #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Cody is the leader of a gang of experienced and ruthless outlaws, and they just pulled off the biggest score of their career. Unfortunately for Cody, these aren’t the most trustworthy guys either, and they turn on her at the first opportunity–leaving her for dead. Elsewhere, Khole, a woman known for being one of the most violent people in the galaxy, is brought in for a bounty reward. As she’s being transported away from the planet, something goes awry, and Khole is broken out from containment. This was her plan all along, and it’s not the first time she has done this.

Space Bandits #1 cover by Matteo Scalera
Space Bandits #1 cover by Matteo Scalera

Space Bandits #1 kicks off Mark Millar and Matteo Scalera’s new series about a pair of intergalactic outlaws getting revenge on those who’ve done them wrong. It also has a 1980’s aesthetic to add some visual flavor to the mix.

The story, despite the aesthetic entrapments, is pretty straightforward. Two previously unrelated outlaws are screwed over and sent to prison for their efforts. 

That wouldn’t innately be a problem if the characters or dialogue added more flare, but they don’t really. Khole nor Cody really bring anything interesting to the table as characters, and the dialogue ranges from bland to a little too on the nose.

The 1980’s aesthetic is just that: an aesthetic. While it looks good on the surface, it really only amounts to dropping names like Lionel Richie and Molly Ringwald sans context or reason.

Space Bandits #1 art by Matteo Scalera, Marcelo Maiolo, and letterer Clem Robins
Space Bandits #1 art by Matteo Scalera, Marcelo Maiolo, and letterer Clem Robins

Matteo Scalera is a talented artist, and he brings his A-game to this comic. He gets to play with that 80’s style, and it looks good and does add some personality to the book as a whole. Marcelo Maiolo’s color art plays with the style well too, and the end result is a rather good looking book.

Space Bandits #1 isn’t a particularly grabbing reading experience. Neither lead does much to stand out in this book, and the dialogue isn’t great. Scalera and Maiolo give the book the only personality it has, and even they can’t save the experience. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t get a recommendation.

Space Bandits #1 comes to us from writer Mark Millar, artist and cover artist Matteo Scalera, color artist Marcelo Maiolo, letterer Clem Robins, variant cover artists Howard Chaykin with Wil Quintana; Sara Pichelli; Travis Charest; and Bryan Hitch with Mike Spicer.

Final Score: 5/10

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