‘Space Bandits:’ Trade Paperback Review

Mark Millar has a unique style of worldbuilding that makes his comics fun and exciting to read. His often adult themes are infused with a sense of childlike wonder that make you feel like anything is possible. In the case of Space Bandits, that includes intergalactic heists and inter-species brothels.

Cody Blue is a brilliant thief and criminal mastermind. Thena Khole is known throughout the galaxy as a notorious outlaw and con artist. After both ladies are betrayed by the men they trusted, fate throws them together in a prison made out of a giant lobster. With Cody’s brains and Thena’s brawn, hopefully, they can execute a daring jailbreak, recover the stolen fortunes they lost, and go from planet to planet on an epic quest for vengeance.

The first two chapters of this comic are amazing. First, we get a heist/caper story, and then we get a prison break story; however, after that, the story essentially becomes Kill Bill - get revenge by taking out a series of targets, one by one, building up to the final boss. I suppose if you’re a fan of Kill Bill, that might not seem like such a bad thing. For myself, it seemed like more of a letdown. I would have rather had more of the heist and prison break stories.

Of course, there’s still plenty to enjoy about the comic. Each of the people that Cody and Thena go after is a colorful character in a unique and interesting setting. That includes a spa full of rejuvenating fish, the palace of a spoiled, bloodthirsty princess, a wildlife preserve for telepathic lizards, and, of course, the aforementioned inter-species brothel. This being a Mark Millar story, extreme violence and depravity abound.

It’s not a perfect story by any means, nor is it Millar’s best, but it still has some great action and adventure. That combined with that spark of adult-themed childlike wonder and epic worldbuilding are what make this a story that matters. If you’re into heist/caper movies, badass female protagonists, or just crazy space adventures, you’ll want to give Space Bandits a look.


Creative Team: Mark Millar (writer), Matteo Scalera (artist), Marcelo Maiolo (colorist), Clem Robins (letterer), Melina Mikulic (design and production), Rachael Fulton (editor)
Publisher: Image Comics/Netflix
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