One Punch Reviews #43: Space Avalanche
There used to be a time that whenever you ran into a Star Trek gag, it had to do with the original series. Why not? While the show took itself incredibly seriously, it had that ineffable 1960’s cheesiness that was so easy to make fun of. There were the redshirt jokes (which made it into the recent movie). There were gags about the transporter malfunctions. Kirk’s womanizing ways. Clint Howard as that weird baby alien. Heck, the official (and very funky) commercials for the Star Trek DVDs made fun of how they used the exact same footage for each planet the crew visited.
Lately, though, the nostalgia has started to shift toward its heralded progeny, Star Trek: The Next Generation. There was a time when most fans would think that TNG was far too stuffy a show to milk any humor out of it. Oh, but how time makes a fool of us all. After almost 25 years, what once looked cool in your childhood youth now looks hilariously cheesy through older eyes. Our beloved bridge now looks less like the nerve center of a Federation flagship and more like the local Lenscrafters. It’s TNG that becomes one of the recurring themes in Eoin Ryan’s webcomic, Space Avalanche.
Now, Space Avalanche is not all about TNG. Heavens, no! Sometimes, it’s about Batman… particularly the Christopher Nolan variety. It looks like David Willis was right: Batman IS comedy gold. But yeah, it’s not all all Batman and TNG. Sometimes its about more recent pop culture offerings. Other times, it’s about a not-too-indepth rumination on religion. Or maybe it’s about animals. It’s your basic webcomic humor bouillabaisse, sharing the same DNA as Buttersafe and Fatawesome.
There are times when I swear I’d seen a very similar setup on Family Guy (but with all that pesky Peter Griffin lead-in out of the way). However, Space Avalanche is, more often than not, clever enough with the basic “random gags” formula to get a chuckle out of me. It’s not Perry Bible Fellowship, but several strips have the same sense of fatalistic humor and timing that make you think for a beat before the joke jumps out at you. (It even has fun with our preconceived, PBF-fueled notion that each strip has an ironic, twisted ending.) And, as unpolished as the art looks some time I have to hand it to Mr. Ryan: he’s quite good at getting the facial expressions of his characters just right.
Besides, who knew that the image of Luke Skywalker squatting to poop was just what I needed to make me smile today?