Nothing is too impossible that it can’t be realized in some alternate universe of Archie Comics.
Archie meets Predator? Happened. Jughead travels through time? When he’s not a werewolf, sometimes.
By comparison, Josie and the Pussycats in Space isn’t all that crazy. While it’s pointless to try and put an exact year on it (all the good that did Back to the Future and hoverboards), it’s not too farfetched to imagine a time when people will have colonized other planets and musicians will have galaxy tours where they hop on tour ships to get to shows.
While Josie, Valerie, and Melody are wearing clothes that could be described as futuristic (shiny and stretchy), they wouldn’t look out of place on a stage today and without the title (or the cool logo where the “o” in “Josie” has a ring like Saturn’s) you wouldn’t necessarily pick up on the fact that they’re not on Earth right away.
Their fans also appear to be human. While writer, Alex de Campi, could’ve had the Pussycats sport an alien fanbase, it’s a USO tour, which means de Campi isn’t just saying that technology has improved. She’s saying this is a future where Earthlings have set up shop on other planets.
The first page starts in the middle of a concert, but most of the issue follows the Pussycats getting ready to move to their next gig. Besides the title, the band always refers to themselves as the Pussycats and what’s instantly cool about de Campi writing for these characters is that she treats them like individuals (the first time we meet them, they’re saying their names). Devaki Neogi’s art is the same way – while colorist, Lee Loughridge, uses the same color scheme and patches of leopard print, their outfits aren’t uniform.
Letterer, Jack Morelli, even uses different letters for their names. Josie’s is all about order. Valerie’s is direct (her name is in all caps). Melody’s is about having fun. When Valerie brings up the band taking a break, we already know how tense Josie is from Neogi having her stand between two panels, so she’s cut in half by the gutters. Valerie means what she says – a break – but Josie takes it to mean she wants to quit the band.
Morelli also does some cool things with the gutters this issue, having speech bubble cut across panels. It shows how protective the Pussycats are, in that they’re always keeping an eye on each other while talking to fans. At the same time, you can look at Morelli’s bubbles as an indicator of the lack of privacy they have while on tour. Conversations are always being overhead.
Tours are also tiring and Loughridge’s colors really punctuate when the Pussycats are indoors versus outdoors, since that usually corresponds with whether they’re in public or have some time to themselves. Alone, they don’t have to hide how exhausted they are, which should make it a good thing that they have to go into cryo-sleep for the rest of the flight. It’s a bold move – letting all three main characters sleep, so you’re forced to spend time with the crew – but Josie and the Pussycats in Space #1 isn’t afraid to take one giant leap and is available now through Comixology.