Comic Reviews

A New Era Of Cartoon Nostalgia Begins In This Review Of Space Ghost #1

In this review of Space Ghost #1, readers receive a different type of introduction to our hero. This time, it’s from the viewpoint of his soon-to-be companions — Jan and Jace.

 

space ghost #1 main cover
Space Ghost #1 main cover by Francesco Mattina (Image Credit: Dynamite Entertainment)

Space Ghost #1
Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Jonathan Lau
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Main Cover: Francesco Mattina
Variant Covers: Jae Lee, Björn Barends, Michael Cho, Alex Toth
Release Date: May 1, 2024

 

This review contains spoilers

 

Space Ghost #1 arrived just in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast, the Adult Swim show that debut in April of 1994. But to be clear, Space Ghost #1 has not ties to the TV show. And as much as I was a fan of the show, I finished the issue quite pleased with the approach writer David Pepose took in putting this story together. Space Ghost #1 appears to be a different type of origin story. Space Ghost is already established in myth and lore. However, readers are introduced to his companions Jan and Jace before they donned their own masks.

Space Ghost #1 takes place on the colony of the siblings’ home planet as the citizens find themselves under attack. The kids’ father attempts to call for help from the Galactic Patrol. As the attackers get closer to their goal — Jarrod Keplar, the kids’ father, and the contents of his lab — they attempt to make their escape. Unfortunately, the elder Keplar dies due to an alien blast. As the kids’ attempt to make their final stand, the marauders turn their attention elsewhere. There’s an interloper in the darkness. He moves like a ghost.

 

Like a ghost…

 

Without proceeding further, it’s important to discuss how spectacular the artwork is. The creative work from Jonathan Lau with the colors from Andrew Dalhouse is truly extraordinary. Lau does a wonderful of pure emotion in the facial expressions of all involved in Space Ghost #1, even our masked hero. The colors from Dalhouse truly bring those expressions to life. His palette is truly balanced as the vivid colors transition to darkness and back again. It truly brought the drama to life.

If there is one quip I had in the drawing, it was in the presentation of Brak. Lau draws the alien feline more depicting of a cat, but there is a concern. It is a truly minor, but personal, issue. However, as someone who grew up watching the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon who naturally transitioned to like Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast (but not so much The Brak Show), I would have preferred a look closer to the originally character. However, the feline alien still holds the smugness that made me an even bigger fan during the Cartoon Network run.

 

space ghost #1 page introducing brak
Brak (and partner Sisto) looks more like a cat than ever. (Image Credit: Dynamite Entertainment)

 

Brak and his partner Sisto are corrupt members of the Galactic Patrol. Instead of coming to the colony’s assistance, they are looking for a big payday and they too are hoping to find it with Dr. Keplar’s lab work, or specifically Blip, the family’s monkey who’s has an implant in its head that would do wonders for medicine and intelligence. The corrupt officers don’t mind taking out some kids to get their hands on Blip. Fortunately for Jan and Jace, Space Ghost has dispatched of the alien marauders just in time to turn his attention to the corrupt police officers. Brak takes a swipe at him, causing on of his power bands to fall to the ground. However, this doesn’t stop our hero from continuing the fight.

As Space Ghost battles Brak, Sisto gives chase to Jace, who’s carrying Blip. They come across a ship which appears to be Space Ghost’s ship — the Phantom Cruiser. The two enter and Jace takes out his pursuer by igniting the ship’s thrusters.

Space Ghost and Brak continue to battle. Space Ghost’s force field holds its own against Brak’s blast — that is until the alien feline tosses a subsonic grenade at him, causing him to fall. Brak goes in for the kill shot. However, he doesn’t account for Jan. She’s wearing the power band that fell to the ground. But she doesn’t blast the corrupt police officer. She takes out the subsonic grenade that’s been disrupting the hero. This causes Brak to turn his attention to her. In turn, Space Ghost takes out his opponent with a punch to the side. Brak’s reaction had me in tears laughing.

 

Take that, Brak!!!

 

So, one question I have after reading Space Ghost #1 is who is David Pepose’s Space Ghost? I have read most of the other incarnations of the character that writers have tackled over the years. And while I won’t expound on them, I can say each one had different takes on Space Ghost. The same is the case here. In the beginning of Space Ghost #1, our hero appears dark and brutish. The way he hovers over one of the aliens attacking the colony almost gave me Punisher vibes (it should be noted that Pepose recently finished a Punisher series at Marvel).

 

However, by the end, we see a more softer, touching character. As the kids grieve over the loss of their father and having no one left to help them, Space Ghost kindly tells them that he’s there for them. It’s a complete 180. I’m actually happy that Pepose began his series looking at Jan and Jace’s background. I don’t remember this being done in previous series. I hope that we receive a little more back story into the characters who will eventually become Space Ghost’s wards and partners.

 

Final Thoughts on Space Ghost #1

Space Ghost #1 is a really good start to the series. It’s a fast, decently paced read that begins in a place it hadn’t before. And it provides a decent amount of action, which helps with the pacing. I look forward to issue #2.

 

Enjoy this review of Space Ghost #1? Find more reviews here. If you would like to buy a copy of this title, and help support the Comic Book Spot at the same time, consider purchasing this book at Amazon or Things From Another World. The Comic Book Spot thanks David Pepose for providing us with an advance copy of this comic for review.

Space Ghost #1
Final Thoughts
Story
Art
Colors
4.3
Overall Score
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