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Kaptara: “Fear Not, Tiny Alien” (Image Comics, 2015; #1-5)

Who’s up for some sci-fi comedy?

After an exploratory science ship crashes, geologist Keith Kanga finds himself stranded on an alien world. After presenting himself to the royal court as Prince of the Dance Floor, he finds himself in the middle of a plan to save Earth from a local warlord’s attack. He bands together with a cat-woman, a nudist wizard, a showboating warrior, an orb that communicates via inspirational message, and a competent person to save the day. Things do not go as planned.

If you asked Chip Zdarsky to write his take on Flash Gordon, you’d have Kaptara. It takes the basic shape of a pulpy, sci-fi B-movie and drapes it in humor and snark. For example, the trolls they fight are fat, yellow, Smurf-like creatures that are racist, sexist, and homophobic secessionists. The goofier elements of the genre become fodder for satire. Beneath the humor, Keith’s own alienation and lack of anyone to care for back home provides emotional depth to his snark.

Kagan McLeod’s alien world of Kaptara combines the weirdness of low-budget science fiction with goofy, creative design work. He fills his world of blues and pinks and purples with living cat tanks, bee people*, and…I have no clue what you call top-half-woman/bottom-half bird creatures, but those.  It's creative and cool.

If you like pulp sci-fi and think you’d enjoy a humorous take on that kind of story, then you should definitely check out Kaptara. Right now there’s one trade, but Zdarsky has confirmed that he and McLeod have more planned—they’re getting issues finished and ready to go out before beginning to solicit them. I’ll definitely be back for more.


Collected in

  • Kaptara, Vol. 1: Fear Not, Tiny Alien (#1-5)


Writer: Chip Zdarsky | Artist: Kagan McLeod | Color Assists: Becka Kinzie | Editor: Tommy K | Production: Drew Gill

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