Put Samuel L. Jackson in a RoboCop suit, land him on a distant planet with two rival factions at each other’s throats, crank the Bad-Ass meter to 11, and you’ve got a comic book series that’s begging to be made. Fortunately, Boom! Studios has you covered with the new installment of Cold Space.
Cold Space #2
Written and created by Samuel L. Jackson and Eric Calderon
Art: Jeremy Rock
Colors: Juan Manuel Tumburus
Letters: Troy Peteri
Covers: Dave Johnson (A), Jeffrey Spokes (B)
Editor: Bryce Carlson
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Previously in Cold Space: On the run from the law, Mulberry finds himself on a backwards little world where everything has western feel, and rival gangs are at the ready to take one another out. Whoever has the biggest gun on their side is sure to win, and Mulberry quickly finds a gang leader with plenty of cash to spend.
A FIST FULL OF CREDITS
If you aren’t into watching movies that were released before you were born, chances are you haven’t seen Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, or Sergio Leone Fist Full of Dollars, which was then remade into Last Man Standing staring Bruce Willis in 1996. While locations and set-ups have changed, the same story seems to be running through Cold Space as well.
In this installment, Mulberry starts to put things together, and discovers that the rival gangs all want dibs on a cache of GP Class Pulse Rifles that were pulled from his ship when it crashed on the planet. Each side is willing to pay handsomely as the guns seem to be the leverage needed for one side to defeat the other. Even with all of this going on, there’s still plenty of time for Calderon and Jackson to create some colorful characters in this universe. None of the characters in this tale are heroic. There’s no way readers would look up to these characters as role models as everyone of them are sleazy, dirty, killers. And like a pack of wolves vying for the alpha male position, they’re all ready to turn on each other.
FOR A FEW CREDITS MORE
By issues’ end, at least one of the gang leaders is dead at the hands of the town’s resident bad-ass, while Mulberry ventures into enemy territory. By next issue, we’ll learn if he lives or dies (here’s a hint: he ain’t gonna die), and my guess is we’re going to be treated to a lot of carnage served up by artist Jeremy Rock. Rock serves up another dose of art that fits in the series, and his style falls somewhere between cartoony and realistic. It’s a style that works, but I think there needs to be a greater contrast range in the coloring and shading to create a darker feel for this story. Everything is evenly lit, and for story where most of the scenes take place indoors, and toward the evening hours, the shadows need to be longer and more intense.
BOTTOM LINE – WORTH A READ
If you are looking for a story where Samuel L. Jackson works the local yokels, as a guy you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley, set on a distant world, then Cold Space is for you. For me, everything seems just a tad too familiar, and that might just hurt the series in the end. While the characters are well defined, there are just a few too many moments where the pace seems to drag. Cold Space #2 is worth the read, and earns 3.5 out of 5 Stars.