Publisher: Image Comics
Writers: Scott Mescudi & Kyle Higgins
Artists: Marco Locati & Igor Monti
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Kid Cudi meant a whole lot to me in high school. Kid Cudi’s first album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, pulled me into rap music, a genre that I still consider to be my favorite 15 years later. As other rappers influenced my preferences, Kid Cudi gradually took a backseat, and I found myself less connected to his music. Still, I made it a point to give each of his albums a listen, and to this day, I occasionally find myself in a small Cudi phase, listening to my old favorites. Now in 2024, Kid Cudi is pulling me back through my favorite storytelling medium.
Moon Man #1 is a strong start for Scott Mescudi’s debut issue. Cowritten with Kyle Higgins, a creator who just can’t miss, Moon Man follows Ramon, an astronaut who has returned after a trip to the moon goes wrong. Ramon and his crew disappeared for seven minutes, and now the world wants to know what happened when Ramon just wants to fade into obscurity.
Mescudi and Higgins have a well-written script here, and the premise is certainly an interesting hook. Readers are kept in the dark as to what happened on the trip, but it’s made clear that Ramon didn’t come back as the same person. It’s hard to tell where exactly the book is going, but familiar tropes such as an evil corporation that owns everything and the protagonist’s close family telling him he should be doing more with his potential point to this being a by-the-numbers superhero book.
Of course, it’s hard for a comic to be by-the-numbers when you have Higgins, a writer well-known for his creative superhero stories in the Massive-Verse, artist Marco Locati, and Igor Monti as a creative team. This issue feels like another hit for Higgins, though it is easy to see Cudi’s influence on the narrative. What sets this book apart from similar titles is Locati’s art and Monti’s colors. Locati is a newcomer, but the style fits the narrative, with detailed environments and expressive faces. Monti’s colors are perfect for this book, bringing to life the intergalactic reds, oranges, and purples that you’d expect from a trippy space story.
There isn’t much action here, but the one quick scene that readers are treated to has a bunch of zip thanks to Locati and Monti’s styles. The panels are framed well, and while it’s a little hard to follow the action at a glance, this is still a lovely book to look at. Without the action, this is mostly a book full of dialogue and gorgeous art, and readers who don’t mind slow-burns will likely buy into what Mescudi and the rest of the creative team are doing here. Everything is rounded out by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s letters, which are more muted than usual, but pop when they need to. Otsmane-Elhaou is one of the best letterists in the industry today, and I expect things to ramp up and get creative as the action picks up in the next few issues.
The end of the issue promises new music to go along with every issue, but as of writing, the music isn’t live on the website yet. Of course, this is an advanced review, and I expect the music to be up by the time this book is released at the end of the month. Cudi’s music style suits this narrative perfectly, so it will likely enhance the already enjoyable experience. Until then, I’m going to load up Man on the Moon again.
Moon Man #1
- Gorgeous colors
- Heavy on the clichés