Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Howard Chaykin
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: 2/11/2015
“If it’s 3:45 and you’ve dialed up LeMonde, then it must be time for…Satellite Sam!”
The Flash Gordon-esque show Satellite Sam is back for the first time in five months, with this issue starting the five-part arc “Satellite Sam and the Limestone Caves of Fire.” When we last left the black and white 1950s Libby Meyers was abandoned, beaten and bloodied walking down a highway eager to get a hold of Satellite Sam himself, Michael White, while Michael was being greeted by a lingerie-draped Kara Kelly the, apparently not so, devout Christian co-star and ex party girl friend of Michael’s father, Carlyle White.
The issue opens with Kara realizing her previous evening’s mistake, while elsewhere Joseph Ginsberg, founder of LeMonde, is sipping his morning coffee. Dr. Ginsberg is greeted by Reb Karnes, a New York politician, entering the room with Mrs. Ginsberg in tow, leashed and gagged, wearing lingerie and obeying his demand of her to say “good morning” to her husband. Mr. Karnes and Dr. Ginsberg once again discuss the FCC’s hold on television while Mrs. Ginsberg acts as a foot stool for the swinging Mr. Karnes. Michael is awoken by a phone call in Kara’s apartment from the hospital with the news that Libby has been the victim of a hit and run accident. When Libby was visiting the limestone cave storage facility, where Carlyle kept his copies of the Satellite Sam tapes, someone in a black car attempted to run her off the road. Michael visits her in the hospital and relays the news to her that their director, Dick Danning had succumbed to lung cancer.
The many tangent storylines of the characters weaving in and out of the narrative crafted by Matt Fraction (Sex Criminals, Ody-C, Hawkeye) is wonderful here, and his cast of characters are so immensely flawed, but so fun to watch. Just at Danning’s wake alone you see in the crowd a hungover Kara Kelly, the newlywed émigré Maria Melato and her very gay husband Guy Roth, the conniving co-stars Ham Stanthorpe and Clint Haygood as well as Mrs. Ginsberg and Michael with a bandaged Libby.
Howard Chaykin (American Flagg!, American Century, Black Kiss) was born to draw smutty pin-up girls wrapped in lace, and I think he’s well aware of that. The detail on every page is a thing to admire. The stitching of hosiery, patterns of wallpaper, newspaper columns, pinstripes, checkerboard, polka dot, and plaid, any type of pattern or detail you could think up are found in the pages of this comic. It’s almost as if Chaykin called up Fraction and said “challenge me.”
“Sex – Death – Live TV!”