Space Copz : Origin Story
Back in the (not so) good (and not really that) old days of the 1990’s, when cartoons aired during Saturday mornings instead of on sketchy YouTube channels originating in an unnamable country within Eastern Europe, heroes were astonishingly good, villains were utterly evil, and comic books featured bright colors other than “as brown as mud”.
Then came the 2000’s, where everything had to be gritty, dark, unwashed, and feature complex characters who represented that Shrek joke about onions to a T. Now the bad guys needed to have reasons to be evil that would, eventually, compel the audience to sort of like them (despite previously destroying planets upon planets full of innocent people). Fun was now an afterthought. And, for some reason, we gave Frank Miller way too much power.
Things have been weird since then.
Enter Space Copz, a sci-fi romp aimed squarely at any human being whose age can be represented by a number. This is a series aimed to take us back to the era of “yes, but can my ten-year-old read this comic book without being subjected to grisly murders and sexual undertones?” So far, the answer has been “Yes. Yes, they can.”
Starting as free webcomics on Tapas, the galactic adventures of Sgt. Alpha Omega and Beta Boy doing their best to save the universe have become a sort of The Tick, but in space, featuring less chair-headed villains and more cute dogs, wicked robots, and sinister galactical energies possessing millennium artifacts bent on destroying the entire galaxy.
And, today, its creator, Mike Speakman, is giving us the unparalleled opportunity to shed our money in order to fund a universe expansion in the form of an anthology book called Space Copz: Origins (no relationship to that horrible Hugh Jackman atrocity) detailing the, well, origins of most of Space Copz characters.
And we’ve gotten our hands on an advance copy here on Soda and Telepaths. So, is it good?
And Now, The Review
Short answer: yes.
We are before a book that’s imaginative, hilarious and full of personality, a 100+ page worthwhile experience that I definitely cannot imagine any other publisher could offer as of today. However, as it happens, there is a “but” in here. Not a big “but”, but a “but” that needs to butt in.
There is lots of fun to be had reading this book… given that you’re already acquainted with the characters portrayed. As a newcomer to this series, having never heard of it before, I was utterly perplexed as to what was going on.
After an amazing start with a story featuring a destroying robot named Zeta where I could not stop smiling all throughout, a whiplash led me to a story about a werewolf kid trying to fit in a school filled with humans. It was enjoyable, mind you, especially the depiction of the bully character, but wasn’t this supposed to be, you know, based on SPACE as the title had me believe? I continued and was greeted by a The Simpson’s worthy sketch featuring Beta Boy and Sgt. Alpha Omega, where I could, once again, laugh in space. And then I saw this one-page story about a heavy metal orc.
I was confusion.
The final version of the book will, hopefully, include a who is who section or some sort of bonus information that’ll help Johnny-come-latelies navigate this world. However, as it stands, it’s a puzzle that asks you to look online for the answers you need, making it a sort of interactive experience out of the whole thing. Can we assume this was on purpose?
On the visual side, one of this book’s main selling points (other than the fact that Good Charlotte’s guitarist did the – admittedly awesome – cover) is the vast number of artists that worked on it. This is both its blessing and its curse.
Your eyes will go into overdrive after witnessing the different visual styles throughout, each story featuring art that looks and feels miles apart from the previous one. This is good because of variety. However, I don’t feel most of the artists are on the same level. Some stories’ visual narrative was showing its “amateur” tag with pride. It is really, really cool that the people behind this book are giving chances to newcomers to the medium – way more people need to do this, IMHO – but this has the negative effect of making the whole thing a bit disjointed. Especially when the stories are not separated by either cover art, title pages or, at the very least, little omake pictures that help them thrive on their own.
This is a book that can be a sucker punch to the uninitiated, but a blessing for long time fans, including tons of Easter eggs, alternate realities and references galore. The amount of love and effort that has been so obviously poured onto this book cannot be denied. Nor can its ambition. You can feel them transpire between the pages and/or pixels.
Above all, Space Copz: Origins is an independent enterprise made by the creator for the fans, featuring new voices and the promise of a new universe. Why on Earth would someone not support that? We need more of this! Especially when children can read it without hiding from their parents [insert “awkward joke about childhood and the weird comic books that got into my hands” here].
Go to the project’s Kickstarter now in order to help fund this before it’s too late!
How did we rate Space Copz: Origins? 4.5 Sodas
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Born (unwittingly) on the same day that the original Back To The Future takes place, Taylor has always been marked by storytelling tropes and popular culture. Wether the relationship is one-sided or not is up for debate.