REVIEW: ‘Josie and the Pussycats in Space’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Josie and the Pussycats in Space

Josie and the Pussycats in Space is a Comixology exclusive digital comic published by Archie Comics. The trade is written by Alex de Campi with art by Devaki Neogi, colors by Lee Loughridge, and letters by Jack Morelli. The comic features the three-piece band nearing the end of an intergalactic music tour, when their ship is overthrown by a shapeshifting, murderous alien lifeform.

The plot is fantastic, morphing from what appears to be just a space opera featuring the Pussycats, into a scary, relentless thriller. The pace of the story is slow, but there is permanent anxiety about where the enemy is and an unsettling feeling throughout. De Campi creates a truly scary script where none of the characters ever feels safe, not even those the reader may grow to care about. All of this builds to a powerful ending that I did not see playing out as it did.  Some of the scenes are incredibly frightening and intense to read, especially when the horror takes place off-screen.

De Campi also does a fantastic job of writing the Pussycats themselves. Each one of them has their own distinct personalities, which is evident every time they speak. Valerie’s leadership and intellect often get the trio out of danger, while Josie’s kindness makes her a great foil to Valerie. Melody may be the most enjoyable of the protagonists to follow through the adventure. She has an adorable, bubbly personality that never becomes grating. Additionally, the script is not infantilizing towards her either, as there are several times when she is very intelligent and acutely aware of the danger.

Overall, the dialogue between the band members in Josie and the Pussycats in Space is really well written. The chemistry indicates how long the trio have known each other. The way they speak for much of the book is light and confident, which helps alleviate the tension between the chaos. The relationship between Valerie and Josie is great to read, but it is the way they both protect Melody that shows just how sisterly they are together. Some of the more touching and effective pages are when Melody starts having panic attacks during the scarier situations. The dialogue De Campi places within these scenes are touching because there isn’t much within them. The coping mechanisms Josie and Valerie use are realistic and again shows how close the characters are to one another. Josie simply asking Melody if she could hug her after calming her down was a minor but extremely powerful moment. 

Neogi’s art is one that perfectly fits this comic. The first act feels like a chilled out, musical adventure through space with a calm and cute aesthetic. You are put in a sense of ease. But then the alien appears this feeling shifts, and Neogi is able to make it look terrifying. The gruesome, unnerving way the enemy does damage quickly asserts to the reader that this is not going to be calm. When the alien is let loose, There’s a sense of panic that seems to radiate off the page. In fact, anything related to the alien forces a visceral reaction from me.

Loughridge’s colors are an important part of Josie and the Pussycats in Space, increasing the level of fear felt while reading the book. The blues of the spaceship makes it feel unfriendly and cold, but when the red lights start flashing, the reader can feel their pulse start to race. The combination of Neogis lines and Loughridge’s tones when detailing the corpses and skeletons cause them to look haunting and inhuman. The art team also manages to make the Pussycats stand out from the other characters involved, meaning that they are always in the spotlight, and Loughridge is instrumental towards each one easily identifiable in the chaos.

Josie and the Pussycats in Space is a terrifying horror comic that feels more like a hardcore metal song than a smooth pop tune. I was very surprised by this book. Before picking it up, there was no indication that I was about to read a sci-fi thriller brimming with tension. The Pussycats themselves are fun to read and full of energy. De Campi drags them into the terrifying wilderness of space, leaving the reader worried that they’ll be able to make their way out of it. It’s an interesting avenue to take the classic characters and one that I would love to see more of.

Josie and the Pussycats in Space
5

TL;DR

Josie and the Pussycats in Space is a terrifying horror comic that feels more like a hardcore metal song than a smooth pop tune. I was very surprised by this book. Before picking it up, there was no indication that I was about to read a sci-fi thriller brimming with tension. The Pussycats themselves are fun to read and full of energy. De Campi drags them into the terrifying wilderness of space, leaving the reader worried that they’ll be able to make their way out of it. It’s an interesting avenue to take the classic characters and one that I would love to see more of.