The murderer of Carlyle White is still at large, but his son Michael still has hopes of finding out why.  That is, if he can keep his pants zipped long enough to think straight.  Your Major Spoilers review of Satellite Sam #10 awaits!

SatelliteSam10CoverSATELLITE SAM #10
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Howard Chaykin
Cover Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: Ken Bruzenak
Editor: Thomas K
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50

Previously in Satellite Sam:  Satellite Sam is the biggest hit on the LeMonde network, and the loss of its star nearly sank the show and the network alike.  Michael White was able to step into his father’s shoes (and space-suit) easily enough, but his attempts to find out who killed his father haven’t been nearly as successful.  The fact that Dad’s personal effects included a large collection of photographs of various young ladies in various states of undress, as well as the secrets and lies behind the products of the show have left a large number of suspects to choose from…


Michael White’s efforts to discover his father’s killer have led him to a lingerie shop for answers, and the scene that opens this issue is possibly my favorite of the series to date:  As the saleswoman gives him a detailed explanation of the parts and manufacturing of high-end stockings, their dialogue and interactions become more and more sexually charged, ending with Michael and the saleswoman acting on their attraction in the changing room.  It’s a scene that shows the strengths of the series, with Fraction taking us through a mystery/noir tale without hitting all of the clichés of the genre, with Chaykin drawing attractive people coming to terms with the fact that they really want to jump one another.  The rest of the issue gives us plot developments building up to our “season finale”, as network head Ginsburg reveals his color broadcast technology, while two other cast-members secrets (one is closeted, the other passing for white while black) are revealed, and director Dick Danning has a difficult turn in his fight with cancer.  Everything is primed for conflict, and when Michael has an on-air breakdown and fist-fight with a fellow actor, and the issue ends with Michael furtively meeting with a woman (which I’ll get to in a minute).


I’m a huge fan of Howard Chaykin, from way back, and this series features him in his element: the vintage cars and television equipment look great, his use of texture and shading give every fabric texture and depth, and of course, the various lingerie his draws is exquisite.  My only complaint comes in that some of his faces have a similarity to them that makes it difficult for me to know if Mike ended the issue in the arms of Kara, his crush, or torch-singer Eve.  This may actually be intentional on the part of the creators, I’m not sure, but it did require me to flip through the book more than once looking for guideposts.  I am a fan of this book since the very beginning, combining the film noir and adult aspects into a story that has historical accuracy and depth to it.  Every character has their own motivations and acts in ways that make sense, even when they’re doing things that are stupid or self-destructive, and of course, they all look pretty amazing.  This issue leaves me really frustrated, in all the right ways, as it constitutes a “season finale”, a break before leaping into the third act of our story (and possibly the climax and reveal).


Aside from the frustration issue in the closing, though, this is a very solid issue featuring several turning points for our mystery, and possibly the seeds of everyone’s inevitable defeat.  Satellite Sam #10 hits the spot, with the stocking sequence in particular standing out as remarkable, and excellent work from Howard Chaykin, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.  I recommend this book to all (adult) fans of mystery, soap opera or attractive people doing sexy stuff…


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

1 Comment

  1. I like Satellite Sam – I really do! I also have been a fan of Howard Chaykin since back in the day. The only problem I have with his art is the same one you mention – too many of the characters look too much alike, so you have to flip through the pages several times to see which buxom babe is being banged and which square-headed mustachioed macho man is doing the banging (although, with Chaykin, sometimes it is another fellow who is the bangor and sometimes it is another dame who is the bangee). My only real issue with the whole series is the swearing. Not because they are swearing a lot, because they are using modern cussing techniques in a period setting. I WAS around in the fifties (just barely) and people did not start using the F word every other word until the late 60s and early 70s, so this takes me out of the story every time the F bomb is dropped. You have to remember that back in the fifties, words like “Divorce” were considered dirty, and casting doubt on somebody’s parentage was about the worst thing you could say at the time! Since there is so much swearing, the fact that Howard and Matt got it wrong is a major problem, at least for old guys like me who care about such things. Back in the fifties, and even long into the sixties, if anybody dropped an F bomb, everybody would have stopped what they were doing and turned to stare at the offender! This one major problem aside, I will continue to purchase Satellite Sam through Major Spoilers Amazon link – assuming that this isn’t ANOTHER Chaykin project that fades away to an quiet demise before it reaches a conclusion. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    I just had a thought – comparing Satellite Sam with Sin City – If Frank Miller and Howard Chaykin ever teamed up on a project, I bet all the smut, swearing and violence would cause the universe would implode in upon itself!!!

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