And here we go! The first arc of Satellite Sam is coming to a close with this issue. Will be one step further to knowing…well, anything, or will be continued to know next to nothing? Most importantly, is it good?
Satellite Sam #5 (Image Comics)
Forget recapping or doing a summary, it’s just not important. There’s just way too much going on and so many characters in this story that is pointless or very complicated to try to explain a chunk of what happened. It’s not awful by any stretch of the imagination (except for all three gag-inducing oral sex scenes with really unneeded close ups), but it is troubling.
It goes back to the problem I mentioned in the fourth issue: There’s just way too much going in this story with all of its main story, main characters, side characters, their subplots, and their relationships between one another. There’s just too much to absorb, take in, understand, and for any of it at all to be fully realized. We spend time with everyone and begin to understand them slightly, but not enough to care or like them. Outside of maybe one individual (Kara Kelly, the Evangelical), none of them are very memorable, let alone likeable in some cases.
The problem also continues into the fact that it is easy to forget many things unless you are constantly rereading the issues before you read the newest. With the comic spread out over so many months and even taking a break for a month, it becomes difficult to keep up with every bit of the story. It’s certainly not helped by the fact that comic does not often feel like any sort of progression actually happens. To this issue’s credit though, things did feel like they have progressed…sort of. Some subplots seemed to have moved a bit and that there will be some changes in the future for everyone. Unfortunately, this does not change the fact that the story might only read well if done in a trade.
But enough about the negatives, what is actually good about this comic? Well, despite my complaints with the characters not being particularly likeable or memorable (at least until you actually are reminded of them in the character profile page in the beginning of each issue), they are still well written and distinct from one another. They all have their unique goals, interests, and personalities. The storylines, despite being too many and hard to remember every single one, are interesting to a certain degree (though one storyline went in a direction that is only going to end up with that character arrested) and if read all in a row, you probably will be able to see every bit of it and all of its progression.
The artwork is about the same as the rest of the series. The artist is good at capturing the tone and feel the era quite well, with the outfits, the scenery, and the trends going on in the background. There are some interesting panel layouts where they just let characters’ expressions tell the audience all they need (though some of them have some very neutral looking faces that make it difficult to understand if they are actually feeling anything or not). However, it still maintains a very dangerous problem: a good chunk of the characters still look the same and it can be difficult to remember who is who throughout a scene unless they are wearing or holding something different than someone else. Also, there was a bit of laziness in some of the art. Some of panels and people are just copy and pasted repeatedly with no difference at all except for one small change.
No one will ever notice the fact that their faces are frozen in time, right?
- The story and characters are decently well written.
- Artwork can capture the feel of the 1950s era.
- Story did feel like it advanced a bit.
- There is just too much happening in this series at once.
- Decompressed and slow going most often.
- Characters are not very likeable.
- The artwork has some issues with it.
Is It Good?
Satellite Sam #5, along with the rest of the issues, could potentially come together to make a decent first arc. However, with the fact that comic is just trying too hard to do too much, the story rarely feels like it advances, and slow pacing ultimately kill this comic. It’s not a badly written story by any means, but it is one that should only be read in the trades, because month to month is just not the right way to read this type of comic at all.