Comic Review: God Hates Astronauts #1
Ryan Browne finally gets his chance to shine with an ongoing series of God Hates Astronauts from Image Comics.
Ryan Browne self-proclaims that he “obnoxiously presents” God Hates Astronauts and thanks you for buying it because he “needs every money in the world.” If that doesn’t give you an idea of the type of mind we are dealing with, then just wait until the story begins. God Hates Astronauts originally achieved popularity as an ongoing web comic, and was collected in hardcover last fall through Image Comics. Browne himself admits that the web series was a bunch of “stupid jokes” strung together without any real narrative. However, now with his single issue run, he’s actually planning the arc and character development as a true story event.
The colorful and bizarre story begins on a spacecraft navigating through the galaxy. The ship is full of crabs – space crabs, that is. A member of its crew, Mr. Crabtree, pines away for his wife who is home finishing her Crab Law degree. While he hopes to see her soon, he still has some crab-space work to finish. Under the direction of his leader, Admiral Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger, Mr. Crabtree helms the ship and panics as an oncoming “homemade” craft smashes into their hull and tosses everyone from it. So begins the opus that Browne calls “the first part” of a “multi-part epic, resulting in five whole parts.” It’s a hell of a lot easier to quote Mr. Browne then try and explain exactly what it is he is talking about, and it should be quite the adventure considering this frenzied exposition.
The story continues on into stellar dimensions, introducing us to an “astro-farmer” who romantically desires his chicken and builds a homemade rocket (so he can live on a moon that will allow him to love his little chickadee in peace). But wait, there’s more! Browne also introduces us to the Power Persons Five, a group of varied weirdos including a superhero with a ghost cow head (or is it cow ghost head?), a rhinoceros doctor and a gang of killer star bears. The Power Person Five have been entrusted with arresting the astro-farmers and stopping them from building this homemade spacecraft that, as we have already learned, will do some damage to the Crab vessel. Much more happens, but I won’t try to explain because I’m not really certain I could and I certainly don’t want to give away the ending or spoil the cliffhanger. Regardless, the story was silly and insane. At times it was absurd in a good way and others in an “oh wait, I have to be high on drugs to read this” sort of way.
I could picture God Hates Astronauts on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup, nestled between Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. It’s that kind of story. I’m also reasonably certain a bevy of comedians would hop on board to help Browne make his story come to life. The characters are zany and strange and there does seem to be a congruent storyline in place (which is a nice way to keep readers from feeling like they are going insane). Additionally, Ryan’s own art style is just waiting to be animated, teetering on feeling as though it’s always in motion.
Three cheers to Ryan Browne on a successful first issue, and sorrow for his inner mind as his dreams must be very strange.