Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #1
Writer: Ben Kahn
Artist: Bruno Hidalgo
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Color Assists: James Penafiel
Publisher: SBI Press
After dedicating their life to the Sovereign Reach, Captain Lyla Gryffen disappeared at the edge of the galaxy. Six months later, they reappeared, thoroughly pissed off and ready to take down the Reach. But when a member of the resistance attempts to recruit Gryffen as their new leader, the plan goes sideways, because Gryffen has different plans—involving space travel, science, and tearing down the very foundations of this fascist regime.
Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted is a genderqueer space opera that leans into absurdity. It’s bold and it’s funny, unafraid of embracing gore or slightly-off-kilter sex jokes as it comments on the prison industrial complex. Ben Kahn’s writing is sharp, their character voices on point. From the jump, Gryffen sucks you in and holds your attention with quick pacing and well-timed tension. This is my first time reading one of Kahn’s scripts, but it’s a dynamite introduction to their work.
Bruno Hidalgo’s art is well-suited for the story. The characters have distinctive features dictated not just by their race, but by their status within the setting. The characters are super expressive and Hidalgo shifts perspective to draw the reader’s eye to areas of import, with James Penafiel assisting on colors to make certain elements really pop. The disjointed, angular style of Hidalgo’s art helps establish the fun, funky tone of the comic and it’s honestly delightful. The icing on the cake is Sal Cipriano’s lettering, which is perfectly executed throughout the first issue.
Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted feels like a palate cleanser among space stories, especially after the intensity of last week’s #fanmageddon. That said, anytime is a good time to pick this book up—it’s a dynamic story with unique characters and it’s fun. The first issue is available on ComiXology May 1, with subsequent issues released every three weeks, starting May 15. You can check out a preview here for a taste of the story, but as far as this reviewer is concerned, Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted is a definite BUY.
Samantha Puc is an essayist and culture critic whose work has been featured on Bitch Media, The Mary Sue, Bustle, and elsewhere. She mostly writes intersectional pop culture analysis with a particular focus on representation of LGBTQ and fat characters in fiction. Samantha is the managing editor at The Beat, as well as the co-creator and editor-in-chief of Fatventure Mag, an outdoors zine for fat creators who are into being active, but not into toxic weight-loss culture. She lives in Montana with her partner and cats.