ERRAND BOYS #1 provides a bombastic, sci-fi story wrapped in themes of family and loss. Koutsis' art is energetic and Kirkbride's writing manages to balance some nice humour with the stories dark undertones.
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Thirty year old Jace Lopaz leads a dangerous lifestyle running packages for clients. But when Jace’s stepmother and father die after a horrific accident, he suddenly becomes the guardian of his thirteen year old half-brother, Tawnk. Thus begins a new chapter in Jace’s life: brotherhood. With ERRAND BOYS #1, D.J. Kirkbride and Nikos Koutsis tell a fun sci-fi adventure about family. What did ComicsVerse think of the first issue? Read on to find out!

The Life of an Errand Boy

ERRAND BOYS #1 wastes no time jumping into the action. Kirkbride and Koutsis immediately introduces us to Jace in the middle of his latest job, stealing a package of baseball cards for his client. Unfortunately, he accidentally lands in a pool and ruins the cards. Jace’s love interest, Max, rescues him but questions why she keeps helping him as they make a bad team. Max decides to leave him. Just when things can’t get worse for Jace, life finds a way. His parents have died, leaving behind his young brother, Tawnk.

Courtesy of Image Comics

Kirkbride explores how strained the Lopaz brothers relationship is when they are back in Jace’s apartment.  Tawnk finds Jace’s place a dump and misses his home. Indeed, it’s clear that the death of their father impacts the Lopaz brothers’ relationship since Jace drinks booze to cope. Because Kirkbride briefly touches upon it, there’s no doubt that future issues will explore how Jace and Tawnk deal with loss.

Jace introduces Tawnk to his boss, Bear, a cigar smoking alien who owns Bearrands Inc. While Bear finds Tawnk too young to errand run, Tawnk impresses him with his good reflexes. Then Bear briefs the Lopaz brothers on their next errand. The job is to nab a rare bird, a vasgog, for a rich client. Unfortunately, Tawnk gets hands-on experience of what being an errand boy entails: stealing packages and running for your life.

Family Matters

 Courtesy of Image Comics

The bulk of ERRAND BOYS #1’s characterization focuses on Jace, Tawnk, and Max. Kirkbride makes it a point to show how different the Lopaz brothers are. While Jace is debonair and has a street wise personality, Tawnk is shy and book smart. Because Jace grew up with a single parent, his relationship with Tawnk is believably awkward. It also helps that in one candid moment, Tawnk asks Jace if he misses their father. In response, Jace says “I’ve been missing him long before he died, bud.” This suggests that Jace experiences inner turmoil in regards to how feels about his father. Thus, this makes Jace a character that readers can relate to.

As for Max, she ends up realizing that Jace is selfish and stubborn. Despite partnering up with Jace on numerous errands, she realizes that the relationship is on the rocks and ends it. This gives Max a sense of agency. However as we learned in Max’s backstory, she gets drawn to Jace’s dangerous lifestyle like any young person would.

The Sci-Fi World of Ebb

Artist Nikos Koutsis brings the sci-fi world of ERRAND BOYS #1 to life. Koutsis draws in a 90’s comics style with exaggerated expressions, somewhere between stylized and a cartoony style. For example, in the image below, Jace has a exaggerated expression as he jumps off a ledge. Additionally, the aliens look pretty cool with some of the best designs being inspired by sharks and insects. In particular, there’s an alien that’s inspired by a hammerhead shark with insect-like antennas that really stands out. The only gripe in the art is that Max has a typical sexy alien design. Fortunately, that’s mitigated by her characterization.

Courtesy of Image Comics

In addition, Koutsis color work is stellar. For instance, one of the most interesting things about the Lopaz brothers is they have two different colored eyes. Notably, Koutsis colors the eyes in red and blue to indicate how they’re related because they are the only characters who have this trait. Koutsis colors Tawnk in all blue to indicate his half human, half Theian (a human-like alien species with feathers) identity. Meanwhile, Jace looks like he’s inspired by Han Solo from STAR WARS with his brown and black vest and leather gloves. Koutsis’ colors truly shine in helping direct the eye towards the action. In an early panel, the Lopaz brothers are bathed in violet and pink light against the backdrop of red, yellow, and orange from the city. The eye jumps from Jace who’s illuminated in the background to Tawnk who looks despondent.

Closing Comments on ERRAND BOYS #1

Ultimately, ERRAND BOYS #1 is a solid family focused sci-fi adventure. Thanks to a cartoon style look and snappy dialogue, the pace is reallygood. In fact, Jace and Tawnk as characters, are believable and they are worth it to see the journey through. For readers looking for STAR WARS with a brotherly love twist, ERRAND BOYS is it.

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