After you’ve managed to make enemies of the galaxy’s biggest corporation, Lux, and its biggest religion, the Renunciation, by proving that they’re actually in bed together, what do you do for an encore? If you’re Captain Grix of the Sundog, then you try to find a way to survive while sticking to your principles. After a trip back to ex-Renunciator Vess’ home planet is mostly a bust, they try raiding the junk ring around her planet only to come face-to-face with some pirates. Their captain, Turo, is understanding of Grix’s situation and is willing to welcome her and her crew into his gang. Even though Grix isn’t interested, her status as a former Lux employee becomes very desirable when a cargo ship from the corporation wanders into the pirates’ grasp. While it seems like it’ll be a race to see which principle Grix will compromise first to keep her crew alive, the story has one other surprise in store for her: Vess’ biology has caused her to bond with the captain.
The question of whether or not love can bloom in a space junkard is a nice one that is answered before the end of the volume. It’s also refreshing to consider it in light of the main story, which is basically an exercise in showing what happens when you don’t try to compromise your principles in the face of abject poverty and the choices available to you in that situation. I get the feeling that writer G. Willow Wilson is trying to show us that there’s some nobility in that, but it ultimately leaves Grix and her crew having to hope that the god in the machine is watching out for them. Still, the writer mines some interesting moral drama from this setup, her cast remains quite likeable, and the art from Christian Ward delivers some lush cosmic sights with a psychedelic color palette. It’s all nice enough to get me to stick around for the series’ third and final volume, which is set to come out sometime next year. Is it enough to make me sad that this third volume will be the last one? No, not really.