Space Bastards to Debut With Black Light Variant

Acclaimed artist Dan Panosian will provide a one-in-ten variant cover when Humanoids debuts Space Bastards by The Boys artist and co-creator Darick Robertson and writers Eric Peterson and Joe Aubrey this January. What's so special about it? Well, you can see -- under black light. Rather than going with a foil variant or a die-cut cover, Humanoids sprung for a black light variant for Panosian's cover, one of three that also includes a 50/50 virgin variant cover by Robertson himself. The series marks another potentially franchise-friendly, creator-owned book with Robertson's name on it, after things like Transmetropolitan, The Boys, Happy!, and Oliver, his latest Image Comics title with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story scribe Gary Whitta.

In Space Bastards, David S. Proton is a meek, unemployed accountant desperate for money. He joins the Intergalactic Postal Service only to be paired with Manny Corns (a.k.a. "The Manicorn"), a sardonic brute who thrives on the competition provided by the company. And things only get worse from there.

Humanoids provided ComicBook.com with a first look at Panosian's and Robertson's variants. You can see them below.

Space Bastards Blacklight (1)

"Humanoids publishes mind blowing sci-fi epics like The Incal, Metabarons, and Barbarella," said Humanoids Publisher Mark Waid in a statement. "Those works are like enjoying a fine wine at dinner. Space Bastards is like drinking moonshine on a week-long bender you’ll never forget, because one day you woke up with some weird tattoos, a scar from a fight you don’t even remember, and a new best friend who smells weird."

In Space Bastards, violence is everywhere. Corporations are exploiting the weak and disenfranchised. And while America has taken to the cosmos, scientific advancements and technology have outpaced civilization as we know it. Even getting mail between planets is damn near impossible. Enter the Intergalactic Postal Service, a deadly organization with a brutal, mercenary business model. Whoever delivers the package gets the cash. And every delivery can be made by any means necessary.

“Eric and Joe have poured their heart and souls into this project and have devoted years to seeing it come to fruition,” said Robertson. “Designing this world and characters with them was unbridled fun. It's a raucous and bizarre world that puts the fiction in sci-fi."

The timing could hardly be better, of course; after centuries of being reliable and relatively non-controversial, the United States Postal Service ended up at the center of a number of election-related controversies and lawsuits in 2020. That will likely provide some comedic fodder for the titular bastards.

SpaceBastardsVirginVariant
(Photo: Darick Robertson/Humanoids)

"Next year will be the first time ever that Space Bastards will be available in comic shops," added Waid. "We wanted to have variant covers that stood out from everything else on the stands. We also wanted to make sure the black light variant cover was collectible, but had enough distribution that fans could actually find it and start reading this twisted story."

"Repeated efforts to utilize 'scratch and sniff' technology proved unsuccessful, so we went back to the drawing board," said writer Joe Aubrey. "With the possible exceptions of scorpions and bodily fluids, this variant cover is the best thing you will ever see under black light."

"My favorite thing about this particular story is it's relatability and timelessness," said Eric Peterson. "There are lasers and spaceships but ultimately this is a story about a mild-mannered accountant with nothing left to lose who is given the chance to be master of his own destiny for once. All he has to do is live through it and that’s easier said than done."

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Space Bastards kicks off in January with the seven-part monthly "Tooth and Mail" arc by series co-creators Robertson, Peterson, and Aubrey. Later in the year, writers Eric Peterson and Joe Aubrey will be joined by all-star artists Simon Bisley (Lobo) and Clint Langley (2000 AD).

The oversized debut issue of Space Bastards, which will feature 44 pages of story, drops on Wednesday, January 13.