By Alexis Ziritt, Fabian Rangel Jr. and Ryan Ferrier
Space Riders is a comic that fulfills desires and wants in a comic book that maybe you didn’t even know you wanted; between the insane, colorful artwork, skull spaceships, giant space whales or even the space Vikings from the last issue, there’s something about this book that just makes you happy. It’s a book of pure joy and it’s utterly like nothing else you’re going to find today.
Look, maybe that’s said too much, but as far as comics go it’s hard to come up with anything that even compares to what Space Riders is doing. Writer and co-creator Fabian Rangel Jr. is twisted in such a perfect way and he and artist and co-creator Alexis Ziritt combine to take that twisted and turn it into full-blown, off the wall insane that you just can’t not like this book. The story is lightning fast and it takes so many crazy turns it’s very possible to get lost in just the size and scope of it but, somehow, that doesn’t feel like a bad thing. It doesn’t take away from the story or the presentation.
And then you get to the art. For whatever reason, this is the first time Ziritt has hit this reviewer’s radar and it seems like an absolute, gods damn shame. His art is just so brilliant and so colorful and so Kirby-esque that it draws you right into the page and this messed up universe the Space Riders live in. Last time, the best comparison to the art seemed to be Jack Kirby on acid and, frankly, its apt. Ziritt’s art and colors, while all his own, certainly has that Kirby flair to them and that special Kirby color palette that made some of his work so fantastic. Space Riders might be one of the most colorful books available and it’s a beautiful thing to behold on every level. For a book about the deep, dark reaches of space (it’s really about so much more) it’s refreshing to see this direction.
It’s also worth mentioning Ryan Ferrier’s lettering prowess. He recently said to us that if you don’t notice the letters than a letter has done their job right, but with all the bonkers shit that takes place in this book, and all the bright and fantastic colors, Ferrier’s letter and balloon choices, particularly with Yara, really add to the complete package of the book.
For two straight issues Space Riders has impressed on levels that we just don’t get often enough. Sure, there’s great books out there, some of them are arguably even better than this book, but there’s something so familiar, so comforting about Space Riders that is just so hard to pinpoint. This entire creative team is producing career defining work and if the solicits are true and this is only set to be a four issue mini series, let’s hope we get more after it’s said and done. Or (or maybe in addition to more comics) one of those insane adult cartoon shows because, really, this feels like some perfect, late night, adult cartoon television. Just saying.
And, hey, if you dig this Black Mask book (which you will) you really ought to check out We Can Never Go Home from them as well.