The man who seems to write in his sleep, Mark Millar, returns with the sort of thing he does so well: A rip roaring orgy of fun, violence and double crossing. Seriously, never trust anyone in a Millar book, as there’s more deceitful skulduggery than at a Game Of Thrones Christmas party.

“Space Bandits” follows on from “Sharkey The Bounty Hunter”, with the two sharing a universe that promises a very interesting third book somewhere down the line. From a few very odd references I think it’s set in the 1980s, but we don’t actually see Earth in any way. This may be to set up the next book as having some action set there, and if not it’s a bit pointless and distracting. I mean, a high end spaceship brothel called “The Rob And Charlie”, which can only refer to Rob Lowe and Charlie Sheen in my mind… a very strange choice.

The story concerns Cody, a criminal mastermind, and Thena, a criminal who kicks ass. Both ladies have been shat on from a great height by men types, and imprisoned on the Lobster, a gian crustacean floating in space. Seriously, I am not making this up. What we basically have after that is a big revenge story where the heroines team up to get their own back, plus a ton of cash, which is always a bonus. It’s prime Millar, with the whole thing rattling along without bothering to pause for boring exposition any more than it has to. This is not deep or meaningful in any way whatsoever, but boy is it fun. Matteo Scalera provides art that’s colourful and full of energy, suiting the breakneck speed and up yours attitude of the script to a tee.

“Space Bandits”, which was released in this collected edition just as the world went into hiding from the plague, is Mark Millar having fun and hoping the audience wants to come along for the ride.The final few pages, where the Sharkey connection is made apparent, will bring a grin to the face of anyone who has read the previous book. It’s got all the Millar tropes you expect, and as usual I can spot his dialogue a mile off. This is comics for those who just want to have fun, and it’s bloody brilliant.

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