Space Cowboy & The Triumphanteers #1
Created by: Derek Jessome and Jeff Knott
SPACE COWBOY’S ARCH-NEMESIS BABYHEAD HAS COMPILED A CRIMINAL CABAL OF SUPER-ENEMIES (3-FACE, MEW-MAN, ACTIONGIRL & RIFF RAFF) TO THWART THE COSMIC LAWMAN AND HIS HEROIC TEAM OF SUPER-ADVENTURERS, THE MIGHTY TRIUMPHANTEERS (MICRO-WOMAN, MEGA-GIRL, JUNGLEMAN & SCUBAMAN)! WHAT IS THE SECRET OF THE LOST SUPER-WEAPON BABYHEAD HAS DISCOVERED BENEATH GRANDWAY HARBOUR? WILL MEGA-GIRL PASS HER EXAM ON ADVANCED CALCULUS THEORY? WHAT LIES AT THE HEART OF SPACE COWBOY’S CRYPTIC NIGHTMARES? WILL GRANDWAY CITY EVER BE THE SAME???
Space Cowboy & The Triumphanteers will take you back to a different age of comics, and that is both its greatest strength and its biggest flaw. The adventures of these old school heroes make for a fine issue, as you step back in time and enjoy the simplicity of comics that where, but I’m not sure there’s any reason to keep reading beyond that.
These characters, and their stories, are fun, but are also very light on depth. Sure, we get to know Space Cowboy a bit, but most of the other Triumphanteers are only in the book to be the punchline in a single panel. There’s some conflict with one other character, but that is only as deep as it needs to be to create any conflict while not bashing villains. That’s why older comics feel so different, and why we’ve grown away from them. Books rarely work as single issues these days, because the reader has come to expect much more from the art. And of course, I can’t say what will come from future issues in this series, maybe I’m misreading that nostalgia, but I can say this for sure – the lack of depth in these pages doesn’t engender any interest in what may come later.
As a reminder of bygone times, the art can not be beaten. It captures the feeling of ’70s titles perfectly, but avoids their flaws. Much like the stories, all the art has an excuse to be less complicated. But the art can still be refined to match today’s expectations. Sure, the backgrounds are simple, but they are still solid and consistent within the book. And the characters, even background characters we’ll never see again, are way more detailed than anything was in the ’70s. And the use of color is just fantastic. If you’ve never spent time with older books, you’re in for a treat. There is something so welcoming to me about the color palette from this era. I may not know these characters, and I may have never read the stories, but somehow the art makes it feel familiar. Perfect for a series like this one.
As much as I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, I’m just not sure there’s much of a market for it. It’s great for a quick read, but I can’t see myself following these characters. The story is too light, the characters are purposefully cheesy, and while the art is wonderful, I don’t really feel like I need more than one issue of it. Maybe I’m underestimating the draw, and this is the perfect opportunity for new fans to be exposed to comics like I was once upon a time. Maybe there’s an audience out there that will move on from these titles to more serious fair as they grown up, just like I did the first time around. But I just don’t see it.
Just About as Throwback as Can Be
Grandway Comics seems to love old school comic action, from four color pages to ads for cheesy toys in the back. Space Cowboy is a fun read, but I'm not convinced it's nearly as compelling as anything modern readers are used to. It's great nostalgia, but is there much of a market for that?