Chen Andalou, the black sheep of a prominent activist family, returns after being accidentally put in cryo-stasis for sixty years. Chen, a cosmic criminal, wakes up to find his younger brother is now the President of the Galaxy. Chen does what he knows best: he steals stuff and causes a problem.
Let us not pretend you don’t think you know exactly what Astro Hustle #1 will be like before you even open the cover. A cover which looks like a 70’s or 80’s science fiction poster in the vein of Star Wars, but with a lot more pink.
With an art style reminiscent of the same era, Astro Hustle has a strange retro feel to its presentation, but there’s nothing retro about the story itself. Tom Reilly‘s art is both evocative of the space operas of yesteryears comic books and also freshly appetizing for today’s new readers. Ursula Decay brings a vivid life to the book, which is exactly what I hoped for and expected after staring at the cover before opening up the comic. visually, this is a brilliant comic; the interplanetary locations feel individual and alive while retaining visual queues that help the reader take in information regarding the story; things like cleanliness, weather and atmospheric conditions that you don’t think you notice.
Jai Nitz pens a swift escapist space crime story that should bring all your fond memories of the various pirates and space pirates and their adventures that you’ve ever read (or watched), but despite the sense of an old friend coming back to see you, this is a story that’s more than original enough to stand on its own.
There’s a rich history hidden within these pages, both of the universe and of the characters, that’s hinted at throughout the comic that’s just waiting for exposure over the course of the story (of course it could be that I missed the first series/miniseries, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t. If I did, then credit should be given for never once making me feel lost in the story).
Rarely do I read science fiction comics I enjoy as much as I have Astro Hustle. All the hallmarks of a great story is here, from the commentary about privilege, punishment and corruption for those willing and wanting a deeper story, but there’s also a flat out exciting story if you just want to be entertained.
Plus, space pirates.
Story: Jai Nitz Art: Tom Reilly
Colours: Ursula Decay Letters Crank!
Story: 8.9 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.