Vess is worth more alive than dead, and she learns that getting home to Earth is a lot more complicated than she had anticipated. And if Earth is sequestered, why are so many things in space named after Earth places? Find out more in Star Pig #2!
Writer: Delilah S. Dawson
Artist: Francesco Gaston
Colorist: Sebastian Cheng
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Editor: Denton J. Tipton
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 28, 2019
Previously in Star Pig: Earth teenager Vess is on a shuttle to space camp, minding her own business and not paying attention to adults, when the ship gets hit by an asteroid. Luckily, she gets rescued by a giant, pink, inquisitive tardigrade. Fortunately, the tardigrade can communicate telepathically. It has escaped from a lab and, now like Vess, is trying to get home. It has heard of this place called Earth and reassures her that scavengers will surely come by soon because Earth artifacts are very popular. Cue the scavengers; a spore cloud cheerfully collects them, thinking of their street value.
THE JOYFUL SIDE OF ADVENTURE
Star Pig #2 sets the tone immediately with it’s weird and humorous take on alien first contact. Vess gets some of the spore clouds spores in her mouth. He insists she open her mouth so he can get them back. They drift out and are like, “Whoa! I was inside a human!” When Vess says this is not what she expected her first alien encounter to be like, the spore cloud is happy to try something else… The aliens are a cute mix of smart but innocent, unfamiliar with Vess’s culture. They take time to do introductions, and the tardigrade gets its name – Theo. (If I ever get a tardigrade plushy, I’m naming it Theo.) The spore cloud calls itself Johnny B. Goode, after a record it found on Voyager.
Johnny shows them around and in a nonsequitur I was not expecting, asks if Vess likes Keanu Reeves. Because he has one. (And he does.) He has plans for Vess too, but not, of course, until she dies. It turns out he has one really big desire – he wants a body to drive around in. He makes a move for Vess herself, and Theo points out that she does not appear to consent, which is a nice touch. Vess has a more palatable idea. He has a ton of stuff; she could fix an old robot of his and give it a space helmet, so he could have a body of his own to play around with. It works, plus we get a couple duct tape jokes.
The humor is lively and a bit absurd, which fits the premise. I enjoy the ship’s AI, which is programmed to be Alexa, Siri, and Darth Vader. It even throws out an, “I’m sorry, Dave,” to one of Vess’s requests. Earth is off limits, but there is a nearby spaceport on Beverly Hills Station. In the ensuing jump to lightspeed, Vess hits her head hard enough to bleed. She seems to be doing okay until they land. Shortly after she exits the ship, she collapses. As some of the local authorities arrive, there is some more clever dialogue, and Vess is carted off for treatment.
LIVELY AND INTERESTING
The art in Star Pig #2 is a lot of fun. We identify with Vess as the only human in the book, and I love her expressions. She’s not too tactful to be disgusted! But the bright pink Theo takes center stage. This is a creature that doesn’t have a face, and otherwise is just pretty pudgy and vaguely animal shaped. Nevertheless, we get a sense of his curiosity, his concern for Vess when she’s injured. It just makes me like tardigrades all the more.
There are so many great moments in this issue. Take a second to enjoy Johnny’s “garage” where he keeps his collection of Earth stuff. There are a bunch of nods to popular culture over the years. The book is also self-aware, leading to the terrific moment when Vess alters a robot so Johnny can have a body. Everyone agrees (lettered beautifully, by the way) that they need a montage, and into a montage we go. Being stranded in space after all your friends have been killed is serious business, but I do like how Star Pig goes on from there, and looks at the galaxy through a lens of humor.
BOTTOM LINE: SPACE ADVENTURE AT ITS FINEST
There’s a lot to like about Star Pig #2. I appreciate that, while Vess is from Earth, Earth is not the cosmopolitan center of the galaxy. There’s a lot of humor, and we’re slowly learning that the plot of “find our way home” is going to have plenty of interesting complications. Sure, it’s goofy, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
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Star Pig #2
Stranded far from home, Vess has no one to help her but an oversized tardigrade.