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HEAVY METAL: 'Chasing The Dragon' #1 is Available Now

 In Chasing the Dragon , New York Times Bestselling writer Denton J. Tipton and acclaimed painter menton3 explore a dark fantasy world ravaged by the rampant abuse of a drug made from the blood of dragons. When two young slaves discover a terrible secret that could change the course of the world, will a meek alchemist’s apprentice and a drug-addled concubine survive long outside their cages? For fans of Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad . CHASING THE DRAGON Writer: Denton J. Tiption  Artist: menton3 Publisher: Heavy Metal Release: Feb. 26, 2021  Order Here

REVIEW: 'Space Bastards' #2 by Joe Aubrey, Eric Peterson, and Darick Robertson

 Acclaimed artist Darick Robertson (The Boys, HAPPY!) joins writers Eric Peterson and Joe Aubrey as they unleash the galaxy's most vicious and depraved...parcel couriers?


The secret origin of the IPS! Several years ago, after failing to make a profitable exit from his sex robot company, Roy Sharpton hit upon his next big idea: buy the failing Intergalactic Postal Service! Learn how he combined Uber and Rollerball into a violent and competitive army of contract workers--and the most successful business in history!

SPACE BASTARDS #2

Writer: Joe Aubrey, Eric Peterson

Artist: Darick Robertson, Diego Rodriguez

Publisher: Humanoids Publishing

Release Date: February 10, 2021

Cover Price: $4.99


Score: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

There's no way around it, 'Space Bastards' #2 is offensive. Specifically, the man behind the Intergalactic Postal Service, Roy Sharpton, is a piece of crap. He's an irredeemable racist that revels in Native American stereotypes with reckless abandon. He's also a terrible businessman. If 'Space Bastards' wasn't as satirical and funny as it is, issue two would be extremely worrisome. 

What we get from writers Joe Aubrey and Eric Peterson is a highly timely and relevant depiction of an obnoxious white man who, despite bankrupting four previous companies using sheer arrogance and incompetence, has somehow failed upwards by exploiting gig workers and appealing to their basest instincts of greed and violent aggression. It's an indictment of abusive corporate cultures and a system of capitalism that pits employees against each other to further sales while executives at the top reap the rewards. It just so happens to be done with a wink and a gunshot to the head. 

Issue two explains how Sharpton created the company. It's 'Blazing Saddles,' 'The Wolf of Wall Street," and 'Death Race 2000' on cocaine. The series is meant to be over-the-top and everything about it has been so far. It's a cartoonish and violent comedy that could be dismissed as exploitative fodder but given a chance, the underlying themes hide some truths that are hard to ignore. 

Whether the writers intended or not I see some parallels in real life. Corporations have made a fortune during a pandemic. While unemployment numbers and deaths rose, they made money. Workers at Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Amazon have to apply for food stamps to survive. Amazon workers skipped bathroom breaks to keep up efficiency. Ridesharing companies refuse to provide full-time work and full benefits for their drivers. And let's not forget corporations use child labor and sweatshops overseas. So a corporate culture of ruthlessness and abuse already exists, 'Space Bastards' is just extrapolating what horrors we already condone.   

It's a divisive series but what isn't in question is the quality of the art. Darick Robertson is in his element with some wild action and violence. Even Sharpton's shenanigans are well designed, part Cohen Bros. film, part Looney Tunes. Robertson is the conductor of mayhem. 

'Space Bastards' #2 is a politically incorrect firebomb. It's a funny but cringe-inducing satire that lays bare the evils of corporate culture and the unqualified bigots that run them. In that sense, the Intergalactic Postal Service's origin isn't much different than others in real life and as a comic, it's a polarizing experience that is sure to be talked about. 

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