Writer: David A. Goodman
Artist: Alvaro Sarraseca
Colorist: Jordi Escuin Llorach
Letterer: Mauro Mantella
Cover Artist: Alvaro Sarraseca
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: April 12, 2023
After First Officer Danny Sheridan’s death, Admiral Newman assigned the S.S. George H.W. Bush to join the battle in the Bungo Straits. Captain Olivier left the space station, hoping to escape the system before the Clooney’s rendezvous to transfer his cargo. But he’s still waiting for his desk to arrive and needs a scientific pretext to remain in the system. Can Captain Olivier get his new desk, continue his cargo run, and keep his crew out of a warzone? Let’s beam aboard the S.S. George H.W. Bush with Space Job #3 and find out!
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The Chief Medical Officer is depressed. Her husband, Helm Officer Rick MacIntyre, no longer seems interested in her. When Ensign Masht asks her about the First Officer’s status, she welcomes the distraction. Naturally, all she can say is that he’s dead, and no, that won’t change. When Midshipman Rhee finds a comet, Operations Officer Travis Biggins doesn’t know how to react. What exactly do they have to learn by studying a comet? At least Captain Olivier’s happy, as he’s got a reason to stick around now. But he doesn’t like to use the translator, and the pilot delivering his desk speaks Spanish. Negotiating with the pilot takes Travis’ mind off his dilemma over remaining in the Navy or resigning to become a drug rep.
Despite the abundance of wacky humor, I could relate to everyone in Space Job #3. I learned the history of human space exploration from the alien possessing Rick MacIntyre. Understanding what drove this expansion helped me understand the dynamics underlying this series. After the previous issue’s backstory, Captain Olivier has grown on me. How can you not admire someone who resolutely works the system to accomplish his goals? I’m still connecting names with characters from TV shows, movies, and the history of space exploration. I hope we learn the Medical Officer’s name before the series ends.
We see Neil Armstrong’s lunar module and the ultimate result of his Giant Leap For Mankind. A battle involving astronauts seems straight out of Moonraker, and a fleet of ships reminded me of the mural in Houston’s Johnson Space Center cafeteria. Alvaro Sarraseca portrays characters consistently, and panels express what each is feeling. I didn’t need to see Captain Olivier on the toilet again, and Sarraseca could have provided more visual interest to some interior scenes. Still, the Bush’s bridge resembles the revamped Enterprise on Star Trek Strange New Worlds, and the way Olivier talks to the Clooney’s captain via hologram reminds me of the production department’s original plans for the canceled Star Trek: Phase II. Colors fill the void between stars in Space Job #3. Colorful ships transport cargo, and the Bush resembles a minnow approaching the glowing, jellyfish-like comet. Overhead lighting and viewscreens give the bridge drama and depth. The green light on a communications panel highlights Captain Olivier’s features. Shadows play across Travis Biggins’ face and uniform, helping us sympathize with the Operation Officer’s relationship and career dilemmas.
Easy-to-read uppercase letters inhabit white dialogue balloons. Voices from the com units inhabit balloons crossed by four X-like hash marks. Lightning bolt arrows link the hologram of the Clooney’s captain to his dialogue balloons. Mathematical symbols for Greater Than and Less Than reveal the incomprehensible foreign language spoken by the pilot delivering Captain Olivier’s desk. Conversations laid over space scenes inhabit rectangular yellow narrative boxes. The occasional stressed letter grows bold when a crewmember points out that Captain Olivier mispronounces his (or her) name. Once or twice, dialogue balloons could provide better flow. The uppercase letters on the final page—telling us the story will continue—remind me of a fraternity’s Greek letters.
Despite an overwhelming number of moving parts, everything comes together in Space Job #3 to propel this series forward. Characters work toward accomplishing their goals and making their lives count. A series that started as merely wacky fun takes on a greater scope. As always, gorgeous art provides a feast for those eyeing the final frontier.