by Fabian Rangel Jr., Alexis Ziritt and Ryan Ferrier
For a series that seemed to appear from out of nowhere like a gift from the comic gods, Space Riders sure leaves a lasting impression. For this penultimate issue, Fabian Rangel Jr. and Alexis Ziritt really crank up the heat and give into the meat and potatoes of the crew and this insane adventure they’ve gotten themselves.
We get some history on Captain Peligro, which only serves to somehow make him even more of a badass, and we get a few glimpses of some larger themes as the Skullship Santa Muerte rockets the crew to a place only thought to be a myth. It’s hard to really explain too much without getting into spoiler territory, which we obviously don’t want, but suffice it to say both Rangel Jr. and Ziritt have managed to do a surprising amount of development in only three issues. Had this series gotten to stretch its legs more, maybe eight issues or twelve, one can only guess at not only the insanity that would have ensued, but also how much further we’d be able to dive into the characters. Sure, that could be said with almost any series that doesn’t get the length you might want, but with only one issue left it’s going to be hard to say goodbye. Hopefully people pick this up (like they should) in the trade, if nothing else, and we get lucky enough to get more in the future.
A lot of what makes this series so good, frankly, is the art of Alexis Ziritt. This guy is a color wizard, a heavy blacks genius and a character master. Not only that, he’s a helluva storyteller in his own right. With such a big Jack Kirby influence behind him, clearly, it’s hard not to fall madly in love with his work, but at the same time his style really is extremely unique to not only him, but the current industry as a whole. Try and name another artist doing work like Ziritt right now and it’s a safe bet you’ll come back with nothing–and, hey, if there is an example out there, by all means use that fancy comment box at the bottom and lets discover that artist too.
Space Riders is phenomenal on so many, mind-bending levels. If you like good comics, this is your jam right here. It’s hard to believe that this book seems to be flying under everybody’s radar, but when people do start discovering it, when that trade is sitting on a shelf looking with the extreme colors and, likely, on a black background, this book is going to be huge. Get on board before everybody else, folks, this is something special.