By Dustin Cabeal
Whenever I read a comic that I end up not liking there’s one line that repeats over and over in my head. It’s from The IT Crowd, and it goes a little something like this, “It’s not for you Jen.” That, of course, is the best way to present my thoughts on Cosmic Scoundrels #1.
When I got past the cover, the first thing that stuck out to me was “IDW Edition” which had no other context to go with it. Was this a webcomic previously? Was it published by a smaller publisher and now republished for the direct market or was it another reprint like Starstruck? I doubt it’s a reprint of older material, but frankly, my interest was so minimal at the end of reading the issue I never cared to find out. I’m sure a comment will enlighten me, and I’ll wait to see that default image do its job.
The story is about two scoundrels of space. They steal some precious cargo, make a lot of terrible jokes, make terrible jokes about the terrible jokes and wind up with the most clichéd “special cargo” device of all sci-fi stories. I won’t say what it is, but let’s just say I took a wild guess on page two and got it right. Their ship talks, there’s a gag about them not being the original owners that broke the stories own logic. That is unless the ship can’t hear you unless you say its name first which wouldn’t make much sense.
Cosmic Scoundrels is a space comedy. I guess. I could tell that jokes were happening, that attempts at humor were constantly made, but never once did I smile, laugh or even attempt to slap my knee. My knees remained untouched, glimmering in the LED light behind me… just waiting for something to be funny enough to warrant a hearty slap. Did that joke work for you? No? Welcome to the entire issue of Cosmic Scoundrels.
The art… was not for me. It looks like someone colored breakdowns, and while that’s different and edgy, it’s a style that I have never enjoyed and never will. If this were cleaned up, it wouldn’t look so bad, but that clearly wasn’t the artist's intention. Part of me thinks this is the artist from the Samurai Jack comic, which would explain the similarities in designs.
Listen, if this comic is for you, if it rubs your nubs in the right direction then that’s cool. For me, the characters are too unlikable, constantly forcing jokes that don’t fit and everyone is standing around waiting for them to succeed, and I don’t particularly find that funny or entertaining. Paired with artwork that was more eyesore than awe-inspiring and you have a comic that comes across unfinished, unpolished and in need of another draft.
Cosmic Scoundrels #1