Space Ghost #5
DC Comics (May, 2005)
WRITER: Joe Kelly
ARTIST: Ariel Olivetti
LETTERER: Richard Starkings
EDITOR: Joey Cavalieri
Thad brings Jan and Jayce home, to find that the other villagers have been enslaved here by Temple for years and now he is broadcasting a supposed truce with the Zorathians if the people stop fighting them. It’s a ruse to bring Thad to them and he falls for it, not caring about the people’s situation or that the kids’ parents are potentially among the dead. He attacks the tower Temple and the Zorathian are broadcasting from but it’s a trap and Thad gets trounced, barely escaping. While cauterizing his wounds he sees a vision of Eula that finally breaks through to his conscience and he returns, this time to fight the Zorathians. Meanwhile, Temple cuts off his own arm to escape the Zorathians, showing the “heart bomb” was a fake.
As a story: Seeing Thad finally gain a conscience over his revenge was nice to see. There were admittedly evidence last issue and this one that he was trying not to care but the kids were slowly winning them over. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually call him Space Ghost next issue. I’m still surprised at how well I’m appreciating the painted art style. It’s just a matter of doing it right rather than trying to make a series of paintings barely forming a sequential story, which is usually the case. Also, of course Zorak and Temple plan to stab each other in the back. It’s just Zorak wants to use a dinner fork.
As an adaptation: Remember, this situation is one the writer created as are his actions. However fitting it may be as a story I HATE seeing one of my childhood heroes, a selfless crusader for good in the galaxy, who risked his life multiple times across two shows to save others, acting like this. Why couldn’t Space Ghost just be a hero from the start? We already saw he had a conscience and a desire for justice over what the Wrath was offering him in exchange for violating those morals. Why is it so hard to believe that a superhero can’t just be good by nature? And this wasn’t even during DiDio’s Darker DC, so this is all on Kelly. Also, watching an old Space Stars episode (because that’s what I found online) and some clips of Space Ghost and company fighting the real Zorak, space criminal bug instead of cannibal bug, and learned Jayce is actually supposed to be older than Jan…by two minutes because they’re still twins. At least the comic got that last part right, but here Jayce is younger twin and Jan is too mature for their age. That or Jayce is too immature for their age.
What I think overall: This comic is to Space Ghost what Man Of Steel is to Superman. It’s a good superhero origin story but at the expense of everything I love about the hero and thus a bad adaptation. One more issue to go.