Review: Mystery In Space #1

Artist(s): Ming Doyle, Robert Rodi, Sebastian Fiumara, Steve Orlando.

Mystery In Space #11 is an anthology published last May by Vertigo/DC. It’s not their first, far from it, and some of them had already included queer characters, such as is the case here.

I’m not going to detail all the stories included here (for those of you who know your comics artists, let’s say you get Michael Allred, Kyle Baker or Michael Kaluta, who did the cover), but out of nine, two have queer characters, which is a rather good ratio. That, and Steve Orlando, who wrote the excellent Octobriana, has a moving story about a centaur race for whom body and mind have long been considered as incompatible. That’s certainly an universal question that can resonate with anybody, including gay readers.

Writer and artist Ming Doyle gives us a lovely story based on Langevin’s paradox, with a lesbian space traveler who’s left her lover behind. The science behind this story is the most solid and non-fictional in the whole comic, and the art style, which is very solid and without effects, carries this little human drama effectively.

Writer Robert Rodi was responsible for the gay content in the Love Story anthology Heartthrobs #1 ten years ago, and he’s back for Mystery in Space, this time with artist Sebastian Fiumara. In the near future, three gay men engaged in a ménage à trois decide to work as space garbage collectors, with one of them seeing that as equally important as the work of space pionneers of the XXth century. Rodi cleverly keeps making us wonder whether the guy who narrates is sane or not, when he claims he’s been contacted by intelligent microorganism. The fact that the other two made the trouple devolve into a couple doesn’t speak well for him…but who knows?
Fiumara’s art is impressive, and he draws very, very cute guys, as you can see in the b&w art he’s posted on his site. And think about it: A casual gay threesome in a mainstream comic? Isn’t that a first? I’d love to see a longer comic with gay characters done by this team.

I very much enjoyed this anthology (but then I love science-fiction), and I hope Vertigo will produce more—two others in this format have already been published, but there was no queer content. I’m glad to see the publisher has decided to change course.

  1. The 80-page anthology is available from comics shops or at Amazon.

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