Today we’re going to look at Space Corps a webcomic developed by Gannon Beck, Bryan Richmond, and Joey Groah. The comic is all about military service and the personal and psychological ideas behind becoming and being a soldier. The comic itself publishes pages once a month and can be found here and they have launched a Patreon campaign in an effort to raise funds for more pages, which can be found here. This comic is rapidly becoming one of my favorites and I am going to tell you why.
What is it?
In terms of overarching story Space Corps is pretty standard. Earth gets invaded by an alien force called the Winnowers.
They’re a pretty bad group of aliens that believe in genetic perfection and as a result, have embarked on a campaign of galactic conquest in an effort to cull the galaxy for genetic material they can use to enhance their fighting ability. A kid named Deven Taylor and his family are captured and herded into concentration camps in order to be tested and eventually exterminated. However, the planet is eventually liberated by the good guys who are part of the Space Corps and Deven joins the Corps in order to fight the Winnowers and liberate the galaxy.
Granted the story is somewhat generic but that is not the point of the comic. Instead of trying to tell a large scale story the comic makes itself about the mindset of a soldier and what it takes to serve. The Patreon page and comic website are very clear that the characters in the comic are based off of real people and it is very easy to look at characters like Captain Brockett
and see the human inspiration behind the character. While many of the people and soldiers in this adventure are alien, it is still a very human story.
Why I like it
The simplest reason I like Space Corps? I’m a sucker for military sci fi as a genre. This is one of my favorite movies of all time
(eventually I’ll get around to explaining why) and I may or may not have a whole bunch of ideas and half finished scripts floating around in my hard drive somewhere that involve futuristic military action and people blowing a whole bunch of stuff up.
With that said I am a civilian through and through. I never served in the military and most of my family didn’t either but one of the things that makes military stories so engaging in my minds is the psychological aspect of service. There are countless stories of soldiers braving adversity and forging bonds that last a lifetime
There’s the honor and pride of service
complete horror of war when soldiers and civilians face the kind of adversity that anyone who has not served or lived through cannot begin to comprehend.
and there is the tragedy of those who survived it all but are left with the kind of emotional and psychological scars that will never leave.
The point is that military service is filled with all sorts of ideals and situations that make for compelling stories and Gannon Beck, one of the comic’s creators, does come from a military background which lends a lot of credibility to the story and the motivations behind the characters.
Of course, these types of stories have been told before. Since warfare has been around basically as long as human beings have stood upright it would make sense that there would be plenty of other writers who try to tackle such a subject
(by the way, the last picture is a comic by legendary comic artist Bill Mauldin, whose life and career is definitely worth checking out) so you have do something different if you want to separate yourself from the pack. Space Corps does this by having one of the coolest and most original characters I have ever seen:
The suit with the fishbowl for a head is Corporal Swarm. He is one of the main soldiers in the story and without giving too much away, he is a complete and total badass. But it’s a little more complicated then that. You see, Swarm is not really a person, it’s more of a hivemind. The suit doesn’t hold a body, it holds a collection of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of insects who all work as a collective mind to pilot the suit.
So you have a massive colony of bugs, each with their own personalities and lives, living within a fully contained ecosystem of a suit that moves, acts, and fights like a real human. Not only is this an amazing idea it also allows the character to have a very distinct personality. Since Corporal Swarm is a hivemind it understands the concept of living and dying for the person next to it better than almost anyone else it allows the character to sympathize with those around him in a way that is different from everyone else. I don’t want to go into more detail and run the risk of spoiling anything from the story but needless to say Cpl. Swarm is great and helps make the story a great one.
If you like military action that tells a great story and sheds light into the mindset of a soldier and what it means to serve, definitely check this comic out and consider donating to its Patreon page.
Patreon link: https://www.patreon.com/spacecorpscomic?ty=h