SPEJS Webcomic Review
A Comedy Space Opera
- By Jenny Hanula
- Website and Tapas
- 108 mobile (vertical) layout pages
- Chapter 1 and 2 complete chapter 3 in progress
- Updates weekly on Tuesday
- Better read on a chapter by chapter basis
Hanula’s love for their characters and cartoony art style serve this character-driven space opera well.
The characters and their interactions with each other are the main draw in this LGBTA friendly series set against a backdrop of silly science fiction pastiche.
Welcome to SPEJS, a rockin’ space opera about three bounty hunters and a pilot. Founded by an awesome hacker who was bored with life, accompanied by a tough pangee with the power to bend energy, a grumpy half-seri sniper and a seri country boy who can drive pretty much any 4+ wheeled vehicle available. Together they form the Super professional Elite Justice Squad (SPEJS) and will take on any mission that’s fun or well-paying enough, preferably both!
Read this if you enjoy character driven stories that feature fluffy fun relationships and friendships. Fans of cartoony action and adventure will get the most out of this series. If you like to smile and go with the flow this series will appeal to you. If you love characters over story then this will be your jam.
Don’t read this if you want scientifically accurate tech or realistic world building. If you want heavy intrigue in your plots this is not for you. The comedy and silliness might turn off those who like serious fare. If you don’t immediately enjoy the characters you probably won’t be interested in future chapters.
There is cartoony violence but nothing gory.
The name Super Professional Elite Justice Squad (SPEJS) should tell you all you need to know about the tone of the story.
Overall, the plot isn’t too deep and it mainly serves to give the characters something to do. The characters themselves seem fleshed out with consistent personalities and just enough contradictions to make them interesting. The first chapter was stronger than the second but may have been correleated with how much I enjoyed the featured characters. There is worldbuilding in terms of the relationships of the alien races, societies, and cultures, but doesn’t appear to be much in terms of tech or science. Ragna is the first character we are introduced to and she is grumpy sniper trying to make her way out of the shadow of her famous mother. No nonsense and with affinity for guns, she is definitely rough around the edges. She is contrasted in her adventures by Gav, a beefy mechanic who is too sweet for his own good. Hanula does a great job of showing brash Ragna develop a crush. For all her bluster and grumpiness she can’t stop blushing when in his presence. It’s quite a cute development in the fast paced adventure-of-the-chapter series. If you read the first few non-prologue pages and enjoy them you’ll enjoy the rest of the series.
The two keep getting thrown together by Swagata, the founder of SPEJS. Morwen rounds out the team as an alien magician of sorts who comes from a female led society.
The prologue explains the background of the world, but fans of fantasy science fiction or space operas will be well versed enough in the genre to not need the background information. Small background details are added through dialogue that make you want to know more and the series shines when these world building details are presented organically. Hanula has obviously put a lot of thought into the worldbuilding and characters, often doing extra content or question and answer pages with the characters.
The art style is cartoony with a clear style. As with the writing, the focus is mainly on the exaggerated characters with only enough background to help you know where things are.
The comic is an easy read as the mobile formatted pages are quick to get through. The lettering is optimized for mobile reading, as is the dedicated website.
The first chapter follows Ragna as she interviews Gav for the Pilot’s position at SPEJS. During their field interview she notices a bounty that got away and she is determined to remedy that. Gav is thrown right into the adventure as the encounter escalates into a car chase!
Chapter two has Swagata and Morwen attending a swanky party in an attempt to nab a thief who has been stealing from rich aliens. Poor Morwen runs into an old flame she apparently had a rocky relationship with.
The current chapter focuses on Ragna as we learn about her past, and during a visit to the city that past comes back to haunt her in the form of an old rival.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if this was helpful.
Please share your thoughts if you have read the series.