Space Battle Lunchtime is very gently comedic, not overly concerned with a high volume of chuckles. There's a bit of satire at the expense of the reality television industry. But nothing stands out as particularly gut-busting. There's just a ton of whimsy which, in higher doses and over the course of several issues, could become grating. For now, I'm sufficiently charmed.Issue one finds protagonist Peony lifted from the calm, mundane scenery of her job at a bakery to the bustle of a giant space spatula. She's then entered into a competition for which she barely knows the rules, surrounded by aliens of varying weirdness. Natalie Riess illustrates her scenes with the friendly energy of a children's story book. Her characters range from contemporary urban to culinary Sailor Senshi. She clearly had a lot of fun filling her galaxy with every silly image in her head and, as a result, it's a fun galaxy to watch. If I'm going to complain about anything it is that Peony is kind of a passive observer throughout the issue. Peony's pleasantly nonplussed about her journey. She's got a resolute confidence in her cooking skill. Her somewhat stifled creativity is given freedom among the strange people running the Space Battle Lunchtime studio. So, it is easy to understand why she so eagerly throws herself into unfamiliar, potentially dangerous territory. I'm sure her head is swimming with wonder and excitement. But I don't have a strong sense of how she feels about anything that's happening to her. Perhaps she expresses herself best through her cooking. But there's very little cooking in this issue. It would be nice if more of our protagonist's personality presented itself in the text rather than the subtext.
Space Battle Lunchtime is inoffensive and promising, but so far not fully engaging.
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Space Battle Lunchtime #1 Writer/Artist: Natalie Riess Publisher: Oni Press Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/4/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital