God Hates Astronauts #1

9 Overall Score
Art: 8/10
Dialogue: 8/10
Hilarity: 10/10

One of the funniest comic books ever created is finally back! | Browne's ability to make you laugh while simultaneously slack-jawed is an immense and underrated talent. | He wisely included a summary of previous events, though, of course, it's done in his trademark style. | If anything, the artwork has actually gotten better; the line work is crisper and the coloring is considerably more vibrant. | Though Browne's reliance on insanity drove the first volume of the work, I like that he appears to have developed a more rigid plot to adhere to this time around.

Some of the jokes, like the bestiality-enthused rural folk, draw a little too directly from stereotypes - an easy source of cheap humor.

God Hates Astronauts #1
Ryan Browne, Jordan Boyd
Image Comics
2014

(Read my review of the first volume of God Hates Astronauts HERE.)

I can recall the exact moment I became wise to what I consider one of the most irreverently hilarious comics in recent memory: Ryan Browne’s God Hates Astronauts. It was during a rushed drive to work and I was listening to the iFanboy Pick of the Week podcast and Josh Flanagan, Conor Kilpatrick and Paul Montgomery were discussing the recently released first volume of the book and everything they were saying sounded ABSOLUTELY INSANE. I told my local comic shop to order it for me. A week later, I dove in headfirst and almost asphyxiated from laughter.

Basically, GHA revolves around the Power Person Five, a superhero team comprised of leader Star Fighter, Starrior (his wife), Craymok (an ape/strongman hybrid freak), The Anti-Mugger (who really, really deplores mugging) and the upside-down-faced The Impossible (capable of, umm…doing the, uh, impossible). They had a handler/resident scientist who was an upright-standing rhinoceros named Dr. Professor. They fought the constantly resurrecting bare knuckle boxing legend John L. Sullivan. There was adultery, exploded giant heads replaced by disembodied cow heads, a bird mafia headed up by Owl Capone, necromancer grizzly bears, mutant ladykiller cowboys and an off-planet monarchy headed up by King Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger, who basically was a tiger in a royal robe with a crown on his head barking orders to his underlings while perpetually in the act of consuming a cheese-covered beef patty on a sesame seed bun.

Like I said, insane. Little details pepper the book and elevate it above just basic shtick, from the illustrated sound effects being words like “Flick!” “Hammer Time!” “Seduction” and “Punch!” to the growing cast of anthropomorphic characters who are mostly jerks. Sadly, little in the series had been done in quite some time. I was left thinking I’d never see Star Grass (Star Fighter, after his merger with ghost cow head Bluegrass) and his band of merry maniacs.

I was wrong, fortunately. Tomorrow, the first issue in what Browne describes in the introduction as “what will eventually be a multi-part epic of the highest order resulting in five whole parts to read and enjoy in the bathtub or while riding an elliptical machine” will hit the shelves, and it couldn’t have met my lofty expectations any better.

Now, you may be reading this (and thank you for doing that, by the way—reading this) and wondering to yourself, “This book sounds awfully swell, but why ‘God Hates Astronauts’ if there aren’t really any astronauts to speak of?”

Well, GHA’s first volume had a subplot going on regarding amateur farmer astronauts boarding homemade (farm-made?) rockets and launching into space, causing all sorts of fuck-ups both in our planet’s orbit and the planet known as Crabulon, which is ruled over by King Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger and is populated mostly by crab-headed people. Among those impacted are Admiral Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger, King Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger’s space-faring son, and his crab-headed crew, who get blown up when one of the amateur astronaut farmers’ rudimentarily-built spacecraft collides with his ship, killing him and sending cheesy beef debris across space.

God Hates Astronauts Vol. 2 #1 (the one that I’m reviewing here) opens with that very event unfolding. After a hilarious title page, we find Stargrass and co. confronting a group of astronaut farmers outside of a barn. I won’t ruin anything, but there are some solid allusions to bestiality, fringe science and cultish religiosity. You know… fun!

For those unacquainted with the series, fret not. Ten or so pages in, a little white blob wielding a tiny Stetson named 3-D Cowboy shows up and summarizes everything that happened in just two pages.

By the end of this issue, the plot for the next several issues is laid out. It appears Browne’s second volume is a little less aimless than his first run was, but don’t let the clearer line of sight dissuade you from jumping on this title.

Plainly put, there’s nothing out there quite like it. For being a seriously well-done comic book, God Hates Astronauts does anything but take itself seriously. From its hilarious opening to the cliffhanger last page, it’s a brilliant piece of work, long-awaited and done perfect justice upon its return.

God Hates Astronauts #1

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Jesse Scheckner
Author: Jesse Scheckner View all posts by

A freelance writer who regularly produces work for MMA Owl, Tuff Gnarl, Broward Palm Beach New Times, Florida Geek Scene and Miami’s Community Newspapers.
Moderately relevant. Follow me on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

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