Cosmic Scoundrels is a five-issue miniseries published by IDW Publishing in 2017. In December 2017, IDW collected Cosmic Scoundrels as a full-color trade paperback that reprints all five issues of the miniseries and reprints all of the miniseries' covers and variant covers. There is also a 20-page dossier of characters, ships, planets, concepts, etc. used in the minseries and miscellany like faux-advertisements and comic strips. Cosmic Scoundrels is written by Andy Suriano (story) and Matt Chapman (story and script). It is drawn by Suriano; colored by Suriano and T Dang; and lettered by Christa Miesner and Suriano.
Cosmic Scoundrels was created by two veterans of American television animation, Andy Suriano and Matt Chapman. Suriano is a character designer, storyboard artist, and concept designer who is known for his work on “Samurai Jack” (2001-2004) and “Star Wars: Clone Wars” (2003-2005), and Suriano is also an Emmy Award winner. Chapman is an animation writer and voice actor for animated series, having worked on the Disney Channel's “Gravity Falls” (2012 to 2016) as both a writer and performer.
A sci-fi action-comedy, Cosmic Scoundrels focuses on Love Savage and Roshambo, two space-fairing scoundrels and thieves. Love Savage, with his long blond hair, looks like a rock star and is indeed in a rock band. Roshambo is the tough-guy, military type and sports a pair of powerful gauntlets on his wrists. These two bachelor scalawags travel the spaceways aboard their ship, “the S.S. Fistpuncher,” and get a little mothering from the ship's artificial intelligence (A.I.), “Mrs. Billingsley.”
Trouble starts for the two when they rob the Dimetrotron Brothers of some supposedly valuable cargo. What they find in one of the crates is a toddler with a huge electronic collar around his neck. Alternately calling him, “Tad Jr.” and “Roshambo Jr.,” our scoundrels fight to keep the baby from the clutches of very powerful forces that insist on obtaining the child. By the end of this adventure, many secrets will be revealed, and Love Savage and Roshambo will find themselves exposed.
THE LOWDOWN: You don't have to read many pages into Cosmic Scoundrels to see that it is a celebration of the spirit of animated television series. Cosmic Scoundrels is basically the kind of Saturday morning cartoon we wish existed. The story's vivid colors seems to emanate from a cathode ray tube, blasting electron beams from behind animation cels.
The lettering is like a cat on a hot tin roof which gives the story a wild and crazy vibe. The narrative is kind of all over the place, but readers can use the protect-the-baby plot line as a kind of yellow brick road that will take you to the back-to-Kansas ending of the story. Sometimes, the story is a little too wild and wooly, so focus on Cosmic Scoundrels' explosive graphics and graphical storytelling.
Cosmic Scoundrels does have a flavor that recalls films like The Fifth Element and Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, as well as the 1981 animated film, Heavy Metal. Fans of anime and animation will feel the groove of “Cowboy Bebop,” “Futurama,” “Galaxy High,” and “Samurai Jack,” to name a few. It is as fun to read Cosmic Scoundrels as it is to watch such animated series. This comic book does have some story padding, and the lead characters, Love Savage and Roshambo, beg for some character development. Hopefully, the Cosmic Scoundrels have a future that reveals more about them.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of over-the-top, science fiction action and comedy will want to try Cosmic Scoundrels.