In Killer Queens #1, we get a look at what Buck Rogers might’ve been like if he had been written by a LGBTQ author. With a bit of tongue-in-cheek, I might add.
David M. Booher is the writer of Killer Queens #1, and thus the mad genius behind this story. Claudia Balboni is the artist behind the retro look. Harry Saxon pitched in by being the colorist. Claudia Balboni is also the artist for the main cover, with Chris Ables and Jen Bartel doing the 2 variant covers. Oh, and finally, Dark Horse Comics is the publisher for this comic book series.
Killer Queens #1 went on sale on August 18, 2021. You can purchase print copies at your local comic book store. Or if you’re fine with the digital version, you can downlead directly from Dark Horse Comics’ own website here.
Warning: spoilers for Killer Queens #1 below. If you want to read this space adventure of swashbuckling proportions for yourself, stop here, and come back once the beam-fire have stopped.
Killer Queens #1: Plot Summary
Like all good retro space adventures, Killer Queens #1 starts us off in a space diner. It’s even called Stan’s Diner for that generically bland feel to it. Anyways, the plot focused on Alex and Max: a pair of assassins, sorry, ex-assassins working as a duo. Only, they’re on break right now. Max is busy in private with another guy in the bathroom, and Alex is on a date with another girl. Things are going more or less okay for them, right up until an evil space monkey named Bieti and their hench-otters show up, demanding their ship back. Fortunately, the ex-assassin duo are much better at raygunplay than the monkey and otters. The duo take them down, and make their escape on Bieti’s, sorry, their ship.
That’s when the duo get a call from a green-skinned alien girl Alex knows named Callisto. Apparently, there’s a moon right on the threshold of a civil war between a democratic faction and a fascist faction. In the middle of this, someone on the fascist decided it was a great idea to kidnap the democratic leader’s children. Callisto is hiring the duo to un-kidnap the children, and she’s paying a lot. So off Alex and Max go to rescue some kids.
Only, it’s never that simple. The evil space monkey makes a return, and as it turns out, they can remotely shut down the duo’s ship’s engines. Not sure why they didn’t do that before, but it results in the duo’s landing on the moon being a bit more…forceful. Sure, they manage to take Bieti down with them, but it’s little comfort. Not only does Alex and Max not have a ship anymore, their landing zone turns out to be right next to a military parade being run by the fascist faction. With an entire crowd attending. So…oops? How will our heroes get out of this space jam? Well, we’ll just have to find out in Killer Queens #2.
Killer Queens #1: The Good
The story David M. Booher crafted in Killer Queens #1 is nothing short of hilariously retro. The whole premise feels like a parody of those really old sci-fi stories like the ones starring Buck Rogers. There’s just so much tongue-in-cheek humor, that it’s hard not to see it as a work of pure comedy. Seriously, when you have a story with a small, fluffy, evil space monkey in it, you know that something about this story isn’t serious. And yet, at the same time, this story is also a straight example of one of those campy sci-fi space operas. Alex and Max are actually going on an adventure right out of the plot of one of those stories. It’s like this multi-layered levels of humor going on here, and I’m loving it.
Even the artwork and aesthetic of Killer Queens #1 feels like one big homage to those campy sci-fi stories. Seriously, rayguns. You can’t get any more campy than that.
The characters also all somehow manage to be interesting and/or likeable. Even the evil space monkey. Actually, especially the evil space monkey. It’s hard to take them seriously, and yet they create deadly serious situations. I think that little fluffy space monkey is my favorite character in this story yet.
Killer Queens #1: The Bad
What’s bad about Killer Queens #1? Maybe it’s just me and campy sci-fi stories, but I can’t find anything wrong about this comic book. Maybe you can do that for me?
Killer Queens #1 is a hilariously campy sci-fi adventure with a touch of LGBTQ themes in it. Okay, I lie, it runs you over with them like a runaway spaceship, but in a good way. If you want to read a delightful parody of a Buck Rogers story that somehow also manages to be a straight example of one, check out this comic book series from Dark Horse Comics.
Source: Dark Horse Comics