Once a child queen, now a space rogue, Elida Al-Feyr runs her game the only way she knows how, with a blaster in her fist and chip on her shoulder. But when she finds out there is a chance her mother is still alive eight years after she was thought to be dead, will she take a chance and try to save her? Is a nerf-herder scruffy looking? Let’s find out in Vagrant Queen #1 from Vault Comics!
Writer: Magdalene Visaggio
Artist: Jason Smith
Cover: Natasha Alterici
Publisher: Vault Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Vagrant Queen: After a rebellion threatened to take the life of ten-year-old ruler Elidaya, she escaped and learned to survive on her own in a galaxy hunting her. But now, an old frenemy comes back and tells her that not everything from the previous life may have been lost…
IN SPACE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU…
Xija Station, deep in space, is the latest place in which ex-child queen Elida has decided to hang her hat. She is making a living doing jobs for a local fence/criminal Vado, when he decides he wants to alter the terms of their current agreement. After a little aggressive negotiation, Elida comes out on top and decides a drink is the best way to celebrate. But a celebratory drink in the local dive bar is cut short, first by someone looking for her, and then by someone finding her. Isaac has a history with our anti-heroine, one that involves a shot being fired and ships changing hands. It seems that she would normally blow Isaac off, but he reveals to her the one thing that is guaranteed to grab her attention, he knows where her mother is.
Meanwhile, the people responsible for the rebellion against her regime arrive at Xija Station. A ship from the Admiralty is on Queen Elidaya’s trail, and their intentions are not good. But how did they find her here and is her acquaintance Isaac responsible?
SHE’S GOOD AT BEING BAD
Beginning with the title, Vagrant Queen, writer Magdalene Visaggio (Kim & Kim, Eternity Girl) lets us know that this is not your average space opera about a princess in distress. She quickly establishes Elida as a hard woman who can handle any situation she finds herself in and is not afraid to use a blaster to get her point across. Even if you had no idea about her origins, she projects the image of someone who has had a hard life, i.e., she is someone you don’t want to mess with. In the same vein, Isaac comes across as a much less than reliable partner. With his set up in the beginning of the book, we are instantly aware that his story may or may not be true, and he may or may not be trying to help our heroine. This provides us with a tense read as we wonder what Elida knows or suspects, and at the same time, hope she’s wrong. Additionally, the representatives of the Admiralty are instantly unlikable, in a slick-haired shyster sort of way. While they profess to be working for the good of the people, we know better.
The art by Jason Smith just plain works. It fits. This is a funky space story that breaks the space opera mold and it needed art which would do the same, and Jason Smith provided it. I have to admit, I had a visual flashback to being a teenager and reading issues of Heavy Metal, with art that was far and away different than anything I saw in American comics. That is the feeling I get here. There is a visual cue that this art triggered for me that just took me back. It is unique, just as the story is unique. And the Natasha Alterici art for the cover, wonderful. It lets you know right away that you aren’t getting your average story.
BOTTOM LINE: VAGRANT QUEEN #1 SHOULD BE GIVEN SHELTER
I’m just gonna be blunt, I like this first issue. From the memories it evokes visually, to a story with a twist, to the non-traditional protagonist, it all works and works well. Choosing a woman of color to be the deposed queen/ruler of an empire as well as a confident and strong hero may be considered a ballsy move in some quarters, but don’t let that be the only reason you pick this book up. It’s a good, well-paced story with great art and enough to make you want to come back for another installment.
Vagrant Queen #1 needs to have a docking position in your pull box. Sit back and fire your lasers for fun.