Satellite Sam #2

by kanchilr1 on August 06, 2013

The Team
Writer Matt Fraction Artist Howard Chaykin

So far Satellite Sam has done many things right in this over the short stretch of it’s existence. In this second issue it does something ingenious, but so simple. There is a character bible in the front, that allows readers to keep track of the enormous cast. This story by nature is an ensemble piece, and a major problem with the first installment was getting to know the different characters. To see this addressed without the comic book even starting is wonderful. The problem with differentiating characters still remains though, the black and white art of this title is awesome but telling ten characters apart who only have slightly different shades of grey in their hair is difficult.

This is something that most people will not focus on in the title, but the dialogue featured in this book is so beautiful. This is the kind of thing that a writer cannot duplicate with any amount of old television watching. Extreme understanding of the source material and talent is required to get a bunch of filthy old men in a room together spewing curse words. If that does not sound like your cup of tea this may not be the book for you. For the average HBO television viewer, this could be the next huge medium for such a specific mode of entertainment. The plot here is pretty thin, but that is not a bad thing. This is an ensemble character drama that should move slow, but steady. Intimate silent moments with main character Michael White speak louder than words ever could. This massive scope of the scandal from the first issue has only just started being explored, which proves the genius of the meticulous plotting of writer Matt Fraction.

Art by Howard Chaykin is once again completely stunning. The artist really shines in a black and white context, this is a huge reason why his work is not included very often in the modern comics conversation. Enjoying the very best Chaykin has to offer in dark whites and blacks is completely ideal. The process that he uses which involves dark markers leaves some stunning results for fans of the medium. Black and white has some limitations, but would be the only way that this title would work as well as it does. One different manner in which the art in this title could be improved, is with a more distinct visual style for each character. A weird hat or mustache here and there would go a long way. Besides the slight drawback, you will have a hard time showing me better artwork in this industry.


A giant problem facing Mad Men right now is the unlikable characters that inhabit the show. Satellite Sam is geared towards a different kind of exploration of the dirt in this time period. The twist on the conventions in the genre really help define this title. This comic is also in good health because it’s main character is actually likable and seems to be worth spending time with. Without some of the horrible cast members repeating their lives in vicious circles, Satellite Sam may have more to say than the hit television show. Those who enjoy Mad Men should shift their focus to this incredible Image comic book.

Our Score:


A Look Inside