When I was ten years old, I loved Cartoon Network’s Moxy Pirate Show and Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. In fact, my sense of humor is one-half Nick at Nite reruns and one half Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. After loving the Space Ghost talk show for years, I finally got around to watching the late 60s Hanna-Barbera show featuring SG, as well as similar shows like Josie & The Pussycats in Outer Space. These shows hold a soft spot in my heart.
As an adult, I have snatched up Space Ghost comics whenever I find them in the musty boxes of garage sales or hidden at used book stores. My favorite by far is Mark Evanier and Steve Rude’s Space Ghost: The Sinister Spectre. This book, which is somehow nearly thirty years old, features art similar to the classic cartoon as well a heartfelt story that shows you the writer loves the character as much as I do. In fact, there’s a page or two in the trade detailing the history or the character and the writer’s history with it. It’s a great book to check out if you can find it and you have a soft spot for that era of cartoons. The book that is the subject of this review, however, is basically Zack Snyder’d to the gutter.
In Joe Kelly’s Space Ghost, the hero is a rigid do-gooder who loses his family and his own soul because he tries to stand up to corruption in an organization that he was in for about six hours. (Not a spoiler – that’s on the back cover.) What happens next is a depressing, by-the-numbers Odyssey of loathing, both for SG’s self and for others. It’s not fun to read and it doesn’t make any sense. Why would you give Space Ghost a gritty origin story? What is gained for DC or for the character? It’s like pretending that your childhood pet was a drug runner or something. Why?
Note that the link to this comic is to issue one because I couldn’t find an Amazon link to the trade paperback collection of the whole book.