Pullbox Reviews: The Space Heists of Vyvy & QUERTY #2

Fresh off of their acquisition of the valuable Enkanton Fertility Artifact- it’s not what you think… okay, it might be just what you think- space thief Vyvy and robotic partner QWERTY have some decisions to make. QWERTY has a problem with his processor function, mainly in that he can’t shut it down. Ever. He’s always collating, calculating, and processing data, and it’s gotten out of control. The solution lies in a return to Nu Earth, where he was “born”, to mend some fences with his estranged parent/creator/cybernetic genius Fathertron.

Vyvy needs to consider the moral, psychological, and potential legal pitfalls of taking a piece of a fallen friend, the plant-like Marcus Sunblazer (and Fathertron’s ex… small galaxy, hey?), putting it in a pot and watering it regularly. Okay, maybe not as morally or psychologically complex as QWERTY’s problems (legally I think we’re still in the gray area of homage), but in the end it’s all relative.

The Space Heists of Vyvy & QWERTY hit my radar back in 2017 when the first issue’s Kickstarter campaign splashed down on my Twitter feed. Since then, this sci fi action title has been a personal favorite of mine even though it’s releases have been (very) few and (very) far between. With issue #3 on the horizon- again through Kickstarter- creator/writer Niall Presnall asked if thePullbox could revisit the intergalactic world of this plucky duo of adventurers.

At its core, Vyvy & QWERTY is a labor of love devoted to the movies & TV shows that prompted Presnall to take up storytelling to begin with. Front to back, the first issue was generously seeded with nods and references to classics of sci fi adventure. The second issue throttles it back a bit on the fanboy tributes (notable exception being the planting and watering of a plant-man who may or may not grow back into a childlike version of his former self), but amps up the good-natured banter and turn on a dime plot jumps. What Presnall does really well is found in the dialogue between his main characters, which is good enough to earn immediate forgiveness for a lack of plot progression in this issue. As a bridge between issues 1 & 3, the second issue seems to sort of float a couple possible threads out there before moving on to what may or may not be the beginning of a larger, more cohesive story.

The visual style of Vyvy & QWERTY, as provided by the combined efforts of Carlos Trigo, Osmarco Valladao, & Renee Arabia is nothing short of outstanding. Trigo’s illustrations and character designs capture all of the dynamic action fans of dynamic action could hope for. There’s no part of his work that comes across as boring or static, even when everyone’s just standing around talking. Building onto that solid foundation, Valladao’s colors add bright and vibrant colors layered with heavy, contrasting shadows. Finally, Renee Arabia’s work on the lettering keeps everything nice and tidy, going so far as to give the various characters their own style of word balloons, which kinda speaks to my OCD. The effect works on a couple different levels, differentiating not only between individuals but also between their unique biological/mechanical statuses (human, robot, and cyborg). Where some letterers might have tried to get a little too “cute” with the stylistic flourishes, Arabia keeps it all nice, tidy, and easy to read… for which I’d like to thank her cuz my eyes aren’t getting any younger.

If I had any problem at all with The Space Heists of Vyvy & QWERTY, it would just be in the length of time between issues… which in the world of independent, crowd-funded comicbooks is completely understandable and easily overlooked. It could very well be that the lack of a larger, more cohesive story arc is simply Presnall’s attempts to gain some footing for the book in the hopes of building up some momentum. That’s my hope, at least, because Vyvy & QWERTY is just plain fun to read, full of quirky characters and fast-paced action that move across the page as though made for animation.

With a third issue coming soon to Kickstarter (keep your eyes peeled, cuz I’ll be talking about that one too), there’s plenty of time to catch up on the first two issues, available now through ComiXology. If you’re a fan of classic sci fi movies like Battle Beyond the Stars (okay, cheesy as hell now but still a lot of fun), or TV shows like the more current Killjoys, The Space Heists of Vyvy & QWERTY is something you should be looking at.

Final Score: 8.5

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