Space Battle Lunchtime #1
Space Battle Lunchtime is a new eight-issue miniseries from Oni that’s kind of a flagship, since it was the first project they acquired from their new open submissions process. Written and drawn by Natalie Riess, it’s the story of an Earth girl swept up into an intergalactic cooking competition.
That’s a concept that will interest many readers, particularly those who love the wacky juxtaposition of everyday hipster life — Peony breaks the rules by baking her own recipe treats for the coffee shop she works in — with fantasy elements. One day, a frog person walks in for coffee and leaves with Peony, since they need a last-minute replacement.
The art has a look of being purposefully unpolished, which suits the concept and the lead character, an untried young woman. There are plenty of odd creatures sprinkled in around the edges, setting up the feel of a galaxy-wide competition on a space ship.
Unfortunately, there’s not much to this issue beyond the setup of the premise, which I already knew from the marketing. I wasn’t blown away by any of the images, although they establish the concept sufficiently. None of the dialogue was particularly interesting or entertaining on its own.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the issue — to me, it just already felt familiar. And for $4, I want more, something I didn’t expect or will stick with me. I’m still curious to see what new happens in future issues, once we’re beyond the setup.
(The publisher provided a digital review copy.)