Review: Space Ghost #1

“The first issue is obviously a labor of love for the entire creative team, and that love beams through as intensely as a blast from one of the hero’s gauntlets.”

Space Ghost #1

Publisher: Dynamite Comics
Creative Team: David Pepose; Jonathan Lau; Andrew Dalhouse; Taylor Esposito
Release Date: Wed, May 1, 2024

A good chunk of the childhood memories for many of us includes watching cartoons that are peppered with characters decades older, with Hanna-Barbera staples such as Jonny Quest, The Flintstones, and Birdman gracing the screens. And, of course, there’s Space Ghost, a name you can’t say without using the trademark bellow that was a hallmark of the series. (SPAAAAAACE GHOOOOOOST!) Joined by sidekicks Jan, Jace, and their monkey Blip, the titular hero helped keep the spaceways safe from villains such as Brak and Sisto, Zorak, Moltar, and so many other iconic ne’er-do-wells. Space Ghost stories always dazzled, with a (literally-garbed) black-and-white hero saving the day against weird, otherworldly vistas, where he and his friends always beat back his adversaries to fight another day.


Space Ghost #1 Cover A by Francesco Mattina


And, of course, just as at the forefront of those Space Ghost memories is one of the cornerstones of Adult Swim’s early foundations: Space Ghost Coast to Coast. A comedic reimagining with Space Ghost in a parody of talk show, joined by some of the enemies from the original series acting as part of his production crew, Coast to Coast is remembered fondly for its surreal humor, awkward conversations with guest celebrities, and meta humor that was always brilliant.

But whether you first met Space Ghost in his original Hanna-Barbera series or as an off-the-wall talk show host, the one adjective that describes every version of the character perfectly: BIG. As I read and re-read Dynamite Comics’ Space Ghost #1—out this Wednesday from writer David Pepose, artist Jonathan Lau, colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Taylor Esposito—that’s the word I kept circling back to. BIG. That’s who Space Ghost is. Bombastic. Larger-than-life. Filling every room. And that’s just what the creative team has given readers, something they understand implicitly about the space-soaring hero: Space Ghost is someone who commands attention. Someone who, when he saves the day, does so with all the force he can muster.


Space Ghost #1 Cover B by Jae Lee & June Chung


That’s exactly what’s needed when reintroducing a cosmic character with almost 60 years behind him, and that’s what Space Ghost #1 delivers from the very first panel. As the comic opens, we meet  young siblings Jan and Jace, their father Doctor Jarrod Keplar, and their pet monkey Blip, as their home of Space Colony Omicron is under attack by the nefarious forces of space pirates and corrupt galactic law enforcement. Why the quartet has a target on their backs seems to be focused on Blip, whose neural implants have implications for brain medicine and A.I. Things seem especially dire until the avenging angel that is Space Ghost flies in—and then evildoers beware.

From the book’s start to finish, the story just does not. Let. Up. Readers are given little time to catch their breath, from initially meeting Jace and Jan and witnessing their father’s fate, to the siblings running afoul of one fiendish foe to the next, to the ultimate introduction of the man himself. But this is never at the expense of story or characterization. That’s one of Pepose’s storytelling strengths that he’s showcased time and again, from his work on Moon Knight to Savage Avengers to Punisher. His scripts always let the readers know who the players are, their motivation, and their unique personalities without ever letting the story languish. We get an idea of the type of malevolent forces Brak and Sisto—also making their leap to the comics—are without the action grinding to a halt with slogging exposition. We get the mixture of competence and childlike panic that washes over Jace and Jan. And we know Space Ghost from the combination of strength, stoicism, and care that typify Space Ghost.


Space Ghost #1 Cover C Bjorn Barends


Much of that can be attributed that to Lau, whose linework shines throughout issue #1, whether it be in moments of action or quieter moments of character concern. When we first meet Space Ghost, it’s largely in shadow, either appearing partially inky when fully facing or in an outline in action on a wall, pummeling an enemy. But when interacting with Jan and Jace, you see that a completely different body language—still assured, but also comforting and kind. As detailed and dynamic as Lau’s art is, his greatest strength is giving readers the measure of who the characters are and what they’re thinking without even reading the dialogue. Whether it’s the siblings’ fear, Brak’s anger and disbelief, or even Blip’s scattered nature, Lau always sticks the landing.

Dalhouse’s colors perfectly pair with Lau’s lines—particularly in how he uses his palette to create light effects, something that will be particularly important on a book like Space Ghost. How objects and characters are shadowed and lit establish the mood and setting perfectly and make the alien vistas feel lived-in and real. And enough can’t be said about Esposito’s lettering, which is as impeccable and as pleasing to the eyes as always. While a sci-fi adventure book like this often needs bombastic, dynamic lettering—which Esposito delivers nimbly—the lettering he uses in the quieter moments help to give characters room to breathe in a book filled with breakneck action.



One issue down and I’m all in for Space Ghost; not just for the quality, although that’s top-notch. The first issue is obviously a labor of love for the entire creative team, and that love beams through as intensely as a blast from one of the hero’s gauntlets.

Space Ghost #1 goes on sale this Wednesday, May 1st, 2024, from Dynamite Comics.

From the official issue description:

Greed and corruption flourish in the darkness between stars. With the territories of the Galactic Federation spread far and wide across the vastness of space, pirates and hijackers ransack the distant colonies with cruel disregard for the innocent scientists living within them.

Yet there is a cosmic vigilante who metes out justice throughout the galaxy, bringing vengeance to those who prey upon the defenseless.

Some say he is a policeman who has abandoned the strictures of the law. Others say he is a phantom, the sole survivor of a war-torn planet. And those who have survived his wrath claim he is more a force of nature, able to bend the very elements of Creation to decimate his enemies.

They call him the SPACE GHOST – and his adventures begin here!

Award-winning writer DAVID PEPOSE (Punisher) and superstar artist JONATHAN LAU (Vampirella Strikes) kick off this action-packed series with a surprise attack on Space Colony Omicron – home of the brilliant scientist Dr. Jerrod Keplar and his young children, Jan and Jace, as well as their pet monkey, Blip. With the colony’s defenses overwhelmed, all seems lost – but these ruthless pirates didn’t count on the wild card that is Space Ghost!

This debut issue also includes covers from some of the finest artists in the known universe – including FRANCESCO MATTINA, JAE LEE & JUNE CHUNG, BJORN BARENDS, and MICHAEL CHO!

Bite-Sized Review: SPACE GHOST #1 (2024)
One issue down and we're all in for Space Ghost; not just for the quality, although that’s top-notch. The first issue is obviously a labor of love for the entire creative team, and that love beams through as intensely as a blast from one of the hero’s gauntlets. Our review.
10Overall Score