God Hates Astronauts Vol. 1 (Image)

GHA

Rating: 5/5 – All sorts of weird in the best possible way!
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

How do you describe a book like God Hates Astronauts?  It’s all sorts of weird, it’s kind of gross, and the characters found within are each as crazy as the last.  Creator Ryan Browne has a way of taking so many wild ideas and putting them into a story that somehow works in the best way possible.  Browne’s writing made me accept things such as a floating ghost cow head replacing the main hero’s own head after he cuts it off, a Captain Kirk like talking tiger in the Crab Nebula who eats cheeseburgers, or Sir Hipothesis, the head of the Power Persons Five who is a hippopotamus that rides in on a chariot pulled by astronaut centaurs!  Just writing these descriptions you’d wonder how all this can come together to tell a coherent story, but Browne does it, and he does it in a way that all seems normal in the world that he’s created.

Ryan Browne created God Hates Astronauts as a webcomic six years ago.  Since then, a lot of work has gone into making this book which included a Kickstarter campaign to sell hardcovers , as well as Image eventually picking up this series and creating the trade paperback edition reviewed here.  This edition is packed full of material.  Not only do you get the three issues of the main series, but there’s also eighteen two page origin stories with art by eighteen different artists including Tom Scioli, Tim Seely and Hilary Barta just to name a few.  Then there’s over twenty pin-ups, again by twenty different artists that include Tom Fowler, Ryan Stegman and Mike Norton.  There’s a reference guide, a  24-hour/24 page comic, and even an excerpt from an autobiography of Ryan Browne from the year 2043.  To say you get your money’s worth with this book is an understatement.  It’s an amazing value that’s great for reading, and re-reading again and again.

In terms of story, leader of the Power Persons Five, (this universe’s Justice League) Star Fighter is brutally beaten by boxer John Sullivan.  He’s beaten so badly that his head becomes so swollen that he can barely lift it up.  His wife Starrior loses all attraction to him, and starts to have an affair with the cowboy Texas Tom, who happens to be haunted by a floating blue cow head called Blue Grass.  After things hit rock bottom for Star Fighter, the two of them team up, and Star Fighter dons the floating head of Blue Grass.  The rest is a revenge/love story that gets better with each page.  Ryan Browne has created something special with God Hates Astronauts and I hope we don’t have to wait long for the next volume.  This is such a fun read with surprising depth and charm.  Buy this book…now!

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
(shawn@comicspectrum.com
)
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