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Astro Hustle #2 Review

4 min read
Getting back into the galaxy has not been easy for Chen.

Getting back into the galaxy has not been easy for Chen.

Creative Staff:
Story: Jai Nitz
Art: Tom Reilly
Colors: Ursula Decay
Letterer: Crank!

What They Say:
Chen breaks out of prison on the banana republic planet of Tidesky and joins up with the pirates of the Pixie Ghost. Will they escape the lawmen hunting them down? Then will Chen escape the pirates when they find out his brother is the President of the Galaxy? Then will Chen escape the bounty hunters of the deep? That’s a lot of escaping. He’ll probably die.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of this series was a blast with what it gave us but it was also so much material that it really needed two issues all on its own to explore everything in a smoother fashion. With this issue, there’s a whole lot going on once again but Jai Nitz feels like he has the pacing down more which makes it a more engaging read. It’s dealing with just as many different things, though, which complicates it. But it also gives Tom Reilly so much to work with, from robot sharks to sex with pirate women and all sorts of things in between as it engages in a high-speed chase with flying ships. It’s still got some of that ‘70s quirkiness to it in design and that’s definitely appealing in how it’s presented here.

Chen ending up alongside the pirate Svetlana made for some amusing time previously and now the two are definitely aligned for their survival considering the forces arrayed against them and after Chen in particular. There’s a mutual understanding that works well and Svetlana trusts him more than you’d expect as they deal with the high-speed chase and a creative way of shaking the enemy off their tail, including how it puts Roberts in another lose/lose position in trying to capture Chen. The narration during all of this is a delight as Chen talks more about the past with his father and how things ended up as bad as they did, and why he went out into the galaxy thinking only of himself and not “the people” after that is spot on. While Chen is often not on-page visually because of the big picture flight aspect or the other fight elements, the narration fleshes him and his family out very well.

Svetlana fleshes him out as well after the battle, getting some solid sexytimes with him in a way that she believes will keep him tied to her for a bit. She’s actually intent on selling him off because of his wanted status, but as we know from Chen, he’s had experience with women like this and understands what she has in store all too well. It’s the kind of light step move that’s delightful to watch as she slips away once he has it all confirmed. Of course, he ends up in a potential bed elsewhere near the end with a duchess that knew him from his time in lockup but this is an area where I wish we had a few more pages to explore that past and understand this connection better. So much is said in so few words and then the two are on the same page so quickly that it left my head spinning just a little bit.

In Summary:
While I can track an idea of where this series is going to go, Jai Nitz has so many pieces in play that I can imagine a long arc spinning out across multiple miniseries for it. I like this cast of characters that we’re introduced to and then get shuffled off out of the picture surprisingly quickly. It’s all about Chen, which is how he lives his life, so it makes sense, but I’m wondering how many will circle back in when he least expects it. Tom Reilly again delivers a great looking book with so much detail to so many varied scenes and events that it’s not exactly chaos but it’s chaotic with how much is going on. And that makes it worth a couple of reads in order to soak up all the details of what’s going on. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 6th, 2019
MSRP: $3.99


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