July 30th, 2012
The ‘S’ you may have seen is silent, actually, so we’re just going to call it by its True Name, Aga.
Welcome to the Star Wars comic where every character is Jar Jar Binks.
Open with a joke: There’s this bit in Aga #1 where these two elegant young upwardly starcrossed but slightly hungover sorts are chatting and having a coffee.
Am I shitting?
It feels like I’m shitting.
Just keep pushing.
We’re so close.
Seriously, you’ll never have sex with me if I defecate all over you.
Unless you’re secretly into that.
Please don’t be into that.
You have never been as beautiful as you are right now.
Sorry: Baby, not coffee. Got confused because it sounded for a second like they were having a coffee.
Space: A bit like medieval conceptions of heaven and hell. Alien species from vastly different planets to yours are perfectly conceivable to the Milton fans of four-hundred years ago: devil-ish or angel-ish. Any physical differences between them and homo sapiens sapiens is purely reducible at the level of appearance to haircuts (e.g. horns) or party frocks (wings). The environments they live in, where any effort has been put into the scenery at all, is all cosily Earthian, two-handed creatures in solid buildings. No exploration of the alien is attempted.
Aside: Although how a narrative could desire this is unclear, Aga is a stronghold for one particularly uninspiring fact: Aliens are like you. The Cosmic Outsider is not Unknown, he is just like (a handsomer) you.
Warning: Do not allow any previously held notions to be disturbed by these aliens, they just aren’t interesting enough. Their world is just like yours. You have not escaped. The unbounded potential of the sentient imagination will tell you things you already knew.
Recall: Aren’t we all so over this? We were all totally over it back in ought-five, dammit. No-one back then wanted to talk about any of it. No-one cared that the two characters from the original trilogy who never speak English and never get subtitles were actually in on the plot the whole time; that enlightenment meant recognising the universal elan vital as an impersonal Darwinian process (probably bacteriological in nature) that seeks only to establish only a kind of moral homeostasis; that the noble warrior monks were so aggrieved by their defeat twenty years ago that they were happy to allow a dutiful farming family to be massacred in order to free-up their vengeance weapon’s diary.
Remember: We were all far too cool and grown up, far too sophisticated a bunch of consumers to give a fuck about any of that. Apparently tedious shit like that is today’s hot new thing.
Except: all this is so unfair because Aga is original and different isn’t it? Very different. As different as it gets sometimes. Because the robots are masters and not slaves, so that’s very different isn’t it? That’s actually 100% different, in the polar diametric way that only things that are exactly the same can be. And the pirate’s best pal, that’s different because it’s catty, and walks on all fours, both of which are mega-different from ‘doggy’ and ‘walks upright’. This is what the sages of the ages mean by the word ‘originality’, dickspit.
Full disclosure: Certain clichés are fine in balanced doses, but today sanity would make anyone an unapologetic apologist for a policy of total genocide against all species of talking cat, starting with the Aga one, the one currently in Animal Man, and all the millions of Neil Gaiman ones. What would any cat possibly have to say, in its predictably haughty, slightly aristocratic mien, in any event?
Cat Quote: ‘You’re a cunt. Feed me.’
Full disclosure: Ditto for anything that’s got a telly for a head. Unless it’s Evil Edna.
Recommendation: If you’re really desperate for some hipsters-in-space thing, then all your ‘what would life be like if you were 20 years old, from Brooklyn (non-native, like, obvs) and lived inside a disco-prog album cover?’ queries will be much better answered by CF’s POWR MASTRS.
Recommendation: If your Action Penis is only going to get the executive relief it longs for by reading comics about things fighting things in space, and for that space to be strange and ungrounding instead of familiar and reassuring, it shall be far harder milked by Brandon Graham et al.’s tidy Prophet.
Solution: The best chalk to sprinkle on all this bile is of course to point out to the unwilling ZNZ hostage that he is a man in his mid-thirties, and that Aga, in order even to squirm into being, has to have its vectors ready, has to anticipate, triangulate, and if necessary self-mutilate to slip shittily into the pre-existing environmental niche its gamble for prosperity needs. Aga is for Young Adults (ones hopefully in the crosshairs of certain teen-fanchise market models who haven’t seen, read or even been in the same room as any other space opera thing ever). Your current reviewer, as has been so cruelly, is not a Young Adult but a man in his mid-thirties. Therefore, villain, what the hell are you doing reading this comic anyway?
The answer, so pathetic:
…i don’t know…