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‘Kaptara #1:’ Comic Book Review (Space, Why You Gotta Be Like That?)

Only moments ago, I finished writing a review for Invisible Republic #2. Another science fiction story. Another Image Comics publication. But, it couldn’t be further on the opposite side of the spectrum from where Kaptara #1 is. Republic places you in a real-world setting, uses singular tones to set time and place. Kaptara . . . well, let’s start with the subtitle, Space, Why You Gotta be Like That? That should say it all. I shouldn’t even have to write a review.

Kaptara tells the story of Keith, a video game-playing, bio-engineering, gay man with some sass and attitude. But, do not mistake him as a cliché gay man with some sass and attitude. We’re dealing with writer Chip Zdarsky, co-creator of that wonderful comic, Sex Criminals. Characters with three dimensions and a solid sense of humor are his forte. In fact, we already get glimpses at a much sadder Keith than Keith lets on.

Joining Keith on a mission through space are several other scientists and an awesome Captain. They come across something they’ve never seen in space before, a tunnel of groovy colors, and instead of going around it, they attempt to go through it. Before they change their mind, it literally pulls them in and shoots them out on the other side, crash landing on an unknown planet in some distance galaxy.

Zdarsky brings his usual penchant for creating very specific characters and finding what makes them unique and flawed, and quite funny. There is an irreverence in everything I’ve seen him touch, and that is on display here.

Kagan McLeod’s (Infinite Kung Fu) artwork and coloring are just really fun to look at. The character work complements Zdarsky’s writing of them so well that they pop off the page as fully realized individuals. The hard angles and symmetric curves of the cold, steel blue space ship are replaced by the wobbling, weaving, multi-colored landscapes of the unknown planet. McLeod really captures a unique tone that reminds me of a hard-to-find science fiction novel called A Voyage to Arcturus.

This is a fun book, and anyone looking for a good space adventure with some laughs and fully realized characters, give this a look see. I think you’ll really get a kick out of it.

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