Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #1 is published by Starburns Industries Press, written by Ben Kahn (Heavenly Blues), with art by Bruno Hildago (Heavenly Blues), colors assists by James Penafiel, and letters by Sal Cipriano. The comic follows Gryffen, a rebellious and recently captured criminal who might just be the leader the resistance needs in order to stop the fascist, tyrannical government. However, the Captain has a few plans of their own.
Gryffen is rough around the edges. They are brash and during their own trial for their offenses against the galaxy-spanning Sovereign Reach, they are unafraid to lash out with sassy and often vulgar, belligerent remarks. The trial goes understandable poorly and Gryffen is promptly thrown in jail but not before being rescued by Telika, a member of the resistance. Telika hopes Gryffen will be the answer to bringing down the Reach and bringing justice to those who most need it. However, Gryffen is reluctant to lead anyone and is far more interested in burning the place down just for the hell of it.
Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #1 is a wild mix of Firefly and Star Wars but added in with some proper LGBTQA+ representation. Gryffen is a “genderqueer anti-fascist space opera.” It is a kooky space drama with a Han Solo type lead. While this issue does not really establish any characters outside of Captain Lyla Gryffen, her introduction is fantastic. Their trial scene is hilarious and while her loud mouth personality can be a lot, that is clearly the point. They are overbearing and annoying and I love them for it. Gryffen is unlikeable in the same way the character of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are unlikeable.
It is also important to note, in all of the press information for this comic, Gryffen is referred to using the pronouns they. It is rare to see non-binary people represented in comics and I also think it is important to note this creative team features a non-binary writer, Kahn.
Hildago’s art in this issue is fantastic and partnered with Penafiel’s color assists really created something magical. The color palette of this issue is fantastic. The bright yellows and purples give the comic a more psychedelic, galaxy vibe which sets it apart from most sci-fi works that tend to be darker in tone and color. The perfectly wonky artwork fits the off-the-wall tone of the book as well.
Overall, Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #1 is outlandish fun. Comedy is very hard to translate into a comic and commend this creative team for doing it so well. If you are a fan of sci-fi and off-brand humor, this is definitely worth picking up. Also, if you are looking for a great non-binary character to follow, Gryffen is an amazing person to keep an eye on.
Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted #1 is available in SBI’s Free Comic Book Day issue and then and on Comixology now.
Rating: 4/5 floor chickens