Sorry for the belated review, comic book sniffers, but like the hyper-sleeping Ellen Ripley, even if it’s 57 years later, I eventually arrive at my destination (hopefully, without any acid-bleeding stowaways)! Husbands #4: Nocte Machinas is the next chapter in the comic genre-jumping saga of Cheeks, Brady, and Haley and pushes the plot to places where no Husbands story has ever gone before! That’s right! “Husbands in space” is finally here, and we’ve been cleared for access to the bridge!
In this issue, writers Brad Bell and Jane Espenson finally launch our characters into the great beyond, where we meet the extraterrestrial Chipper Twee and his human companion, Blaze Hull, participants in a “man vs. machine” war taking place during the colonization of Europa. Given that the idea of “Husbands in space” was an initial factor in the inspiration for the Dark Horse comic series, Espenson and Bell have clearly been itching to get this story down on the page and it shows in the final product, which is an exuberant celebration of science fiction as seen through the Husbands-colored nebula. There are a number of great, classic genre references (and a FRAK! thrown in for good measure), but my favorite had to be Haley’s appearance in the book as H.A.L.-E., one of the few machines still working with the humans and clearly the much more fun cousin to 2001’s murderous computer. Another thing that really became clear with this issue is how spectacular the eventual trade paperback will be. Any collected volume where the reader can jump from genre to genre (and art style to art style) with the Husbands gang will end up being a wonderfully attractive, fun, and entertaining addition for any comic book sniffer!
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