Vexxarr only feels safe and comfortable around the robots that are actively trying to kill him. If they offer to help, that's when he gets worried.
Alien Invasion: One by Vexxarr, which failed. A second one is defeated by using technology stolen from Vexxarr.
Ambiguous Innocence: Sid is so innocent that he actually comes around at cynicism from the other side.
Anti-Hero: Vexxarr. This tends to depend on how insane the situation has currently driven him.note You know it's bad when he starts trying to knock his conscience out of his head by slamming it repeatedly against a bulkhead.
Rock crabs have rather alien viewpoints on the world, due to being Silicon-Based Life that are a prey species, but do not themselves eat (they passively absorb radiation); this makes them quite naturally cowardly, even though they are Nigh Invulnerable compared to carbon-based organisms and, in fact, they actively expose themselves to energy weapons or radiation leaks, since these feed them rather than hurt them. Early in the strip, Sid attempts to comfort and protect actual food, like cake and sandwiches, which he sees as being like himself, though he grows out of this — it's only when he's fairly young and na´ve that he does so, and later in the series he has no problem fetching some cake for Vexxarr.
The Mahakalosians, being genetically-engineered engineer slaves, have a very odd mentality. They literally live to work, and their understanding of leisure time and payment are rather different to humans — for example, though they request human records and Oreo cookies as payment for their labors, one is seen commenting that he's not sure which will be more fun: listening to his new records, or designing a machine to play them. At one point, the Mahakalosians declare their payment for building human ships will be the resources they need to design and build ships of their own... which they will then give to humanity.
Vexxarr is normally pretty understandable by human terms; he's a cynical, lazy, sarcastic, grumpy Jerk Ass with well-hidden softer side. Then we get something like this — admittedly, that could just be Culture Clash, due to the fact that Vexxarr belongs to a race of belligerent conquerors and only gave up on that life because he failed his first mission and now his race wants him dead.
Sid: I have been eaten thirty times. I have no name for the horrors I have witnessed. I do not fear death but rather the universe that would forge these nighmares unending. There is no darkness black enough to swallow what I have seen. Will you be my friend.
Brown Note: Hearing, or reading, Sploorfix's lifejournal posts will cause almost any AI to self-terminate.
Vexxarr: Just determine the most hazardous place (the warp sabot) could have gone and start our search there...
Carl: I hate to say it but he has a certain practical logic...
Minionbot: I concur... past experience supports this.
Vexxarr: Whoa whoa whoa... stop right there! What have I told you both? We do not...ever...goad the universe!
Cowardly Lion: Sid, like all rock-crabs, is afraid of almost everything, despite the fact that very little can hurt him.
To make it even weirder he feeds on radiation, like that produced by Bleen weapons and antimatter explosions. So he loves the things that most sane beings would fear the most.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Vexxarr's usual high level of Genre Savviness can sky-rocket into this occasionally. Usually this is directly proportional to how insane a bad situation has become.note Considering that every situation is almost always bad...
Deadpan Snarker: Vexxarr, Minionbot and Carl. Vexxarr and Carl have ribbing matches that go on for panels.
Everything Trying to Kill You: And everyone. By the time Vexxarr has gotten through facilitating an all-out war between the Bleen and the Lattrox, the only people's hit list he isn't on is the humans and their allies. And that's a pretty damn tiny percentage of the space-faring races, considering that it amounts to about... 3.
From Nobody to Nightmare: Vexxarr is an In-Universe example; he used to be a laundryman at the palace, then he got sent to conquer Earth. Since failing, he has killed two silicoid predator moons, unintentionally devastated the schlumpoid race, been responsible for wiping out a machine race (the Locu-trons) and inadvertently restoring their Tact-o-tron creators, destroyed the last of the original Makahalosian AI-controlled warships, freed the last surviving Mahakalosian slave-mechanics and pointed them towards an alliance with the human race, accidentally caused havoc upon the only surviving race of aliens in Lattrox space, and deliberately started a war between the Lattrox and the Bleen.
Genre Savvy: Vexxarr has become increasingly savvy about his attempts to find safety, to the point of having a betting pool on how long after encountering anything they would be attacked or ordered to surrender.
Good Is Not Nice: Vexxarr is a borderline type IV Anti-Hero who can be quite vindictive when he wants to be. But he still has a conscience - albeit one he has tried to literally bash out of his own head - and he will - in the end - do the right thing.note Eventually. He is not going to be nice about it though. Ever. And depriving him of cake is probably going to send him off the deep end.note The aesop of this story is to always supply your Anti-Hero with chocolate gateau whenever they have to make an important moral decision.
Doctor: Have you tried listening to your conscience?
Vexxarr: ...and maybe think about how my actions affect the lives of those around me? Nope. Let's exhaust our surgical options first.
Gravity Sucks: Averted; at one point Vexxarr actually tries to hide in a black hole's accretion disk, relying on his invincible hull to protect him against the radiation. It almost worked, too.
Gun Porn: In the early, black and white days of the comic, the art of earth's millitary equipment looked significantly more detailed than the characters.
...unless, of course, it would be unimaginably fun...
Hammer Space: Vexxarr can conjure a paper list of research projects performed by Bleen AI seemingly out of thin air. The explanation: It's just that important to remember how any research project headed by an AI has Gone Horribly Wrong and ended with the creation of a tiny sun. (Except the one that ended with a super massive black hole.)
Heroic Neutral: Vexxarr somehow keeps getting dragged into the problems of every race he finds, even though all he wants is a long boring life full of cake and Halo.
Aid: You have my sword. *beat* Ok. That was disturbing beyond words.
The Heart: Sploorflix keeps trying to get everyone to work together, help all the creatures they come across, and wants everyone to live in love and peace. Unfortunately, for him, he's in the wrong universe and within a lightyear vicinity of Vexxarr and Carl, where his extreme idealism does not hold up well in the face of Vexxarr's wormhole of cynicism. However, he does still manage to drag Vexxarr's conscience out into the open more than once, though, pulling their somewhat dysfunctional crew into doing the right thing. ...Eventually.
Droid: We shall demonstrate that we have wills. That we are masters of our own destiny. Nrrrggg! Gung-Gunggggg!
Vexxarr: Oh, and I took the liberty of rescinding your self-termination protocols.
Droid: GREEN DEVIL!!
I'm a Humanitarian: The Lattrox's schtick. To the point where the only other alien race thus encountered in their region of space was cloaked.
Invisibility Cloak: Vexxarr encounters a civilization who cloaked their entire planet to avoid the Lattrox. Unfortunately, the controls to the cloaking field were cloaked as well.
Insult Backfire: An interesting example. Anytime Vexxarr claims that all machine life is murderous and always planning the destruction of organic life, his two robot crew will happily admit that he is correct.
Vexxarr: Not until that... that machine admits that it is a calculating, survival obsessed, self-centered, tyrant wannabee with a pathological hatred of anything organic!
Carl: Yep. That's me to a tee. Shall we continue to the Lattrox DMZ?
Iron Buttmonkey: The crew are regularly hurled across the cabin by uncompensated acceleration, decompressed, crushed, beaten up, chewed on by monsters, or scorched by energy entities, and yet never take permanent harm. Also, the ship remains unaffected by frequent collisions with asteroids, space debris and other ships.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Well, maybe not gold but Vexxar definitely has a soft spot and a working conscience. No matter how much his selfishness and cynicism get in its way, eventually, he can be goaded into doing the right thing. Something he has been known to lament.
For example, after Sploorfix hits Vexxar with the fact that the last thing the peaceful Mahakalosian space mechanics did was fix their ship for free, something for which they will be exterminated, Vexxar's reaction is this.
After being trapped on Earth, Vexxarr, Minionbot and Carl all develop a fondness for Earth culture. Minionbot spends some time as an electronic Buddhist. Carl has a huge collection of Earth audio-visual media that he enjoys watching for entertainment. And Vexxarr owns his own XBOX, loves playing Halo, and has a large collection of Earth movies that he enjoys watching.
During the "Mahakalosian Saga", Vexxar mentions "Ripley's Law". To whit, "never go any farther for the cat than the cat would go for you", a reference to Ripley's interactions with Jonesy the ship's cat in the finale of the first movie.
Sploorfix apparently enjoys watching human movies with Vexxarr. He has apparently seen Alien, since he references it during the "Mahakalosian Saga".
No Mouth: Bleen, Shlumpoids, and Rock Crabs. Rock Crabs don't need to eat but it's never explained how Bleen eat all that cake, and in fact it was a bit of a running gag in some of the early strips. Whereas Shlumpoids are apparently such messy eaters that the process is always shown just off-screen.
Noodle Incident: When Carl and Minionbot are reviewing the results of simulated drone operations, we don't get to see what they're looking at, but we do hear the names Carl gave the various simulations, such as "Ode to places a cutting torch should never go", "Three drones, one airlock and no sense", and the cautionary tale about plasma torches, hypergolic fuel and explosive decompression called "Don't".
Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Averted, all aliens look decidedly non-human. The only strange thing is that despite Vexxarr's single eye, his eyebrow shows the exact same position-by-emotion as two human eyebrows would. See his angry-look (his look for roughly 90% of the comic.) in the trope picture.
Schedule Slip: Occasionally, the comic updates actually catch up to the current calendar date.
Scenery Porn: Many comics that take place in space use real astronomical pictures as background, see the trope picture.
Series Continuity Error: Rule of Funny tends to override continuity: Early in the comic, it was established that Bleen never had religion and don't need to sleep. But in some comics, the punchline assumes that they do.
Starfish Aliens: The crew alone includes two species that reproduce by budding, one of them a one-eyed cnidarian that can survive in space for brief periods and the other a mass of eyes on tentacles whose LiveJournal counts as a Logic Bomb of mass destruction.. And a Nigh InvulnerableSilicon-Based Life that feeds off radiation and is scared of anything that eats.
Locutron:Great Orator, I swear these ships and the thousands like them have been built to carry your message of peace and fraternity to all inteligent systems in the nebula. Their mission is one of peace. We wish to show nothing but our love for all living things.
Vexxarr: Yet I can't help but notice that your envoys of are bristling with weapons.
Locutron: There is, of course, always the slight possibility that they will not love us back.
Vexxarr: Word of advice? Keep 'em charged.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Vexxarr's own robotic allies frequently give him one. And then there's the hostile AI left by the Schlumpoid Forebearers, who gives them to any Schlumpoid in range. They actually make use of it by assigning him to teach a class called 'Stasis: The failure of Schlumpoid Culture.'
AI: Welcome class. I want to begin by saying that no matter how your grades turn out, I will be giving each of you an F.
Schlumpoid: What? What have we done to deserve that?
AI: By the end of the semester, I expect you to tell me.
Sploorfix: Just tell me what you think of when you look at him.
Later done with consent to Minionbot to disengage the malfunctioning hyperdrive.
Minionbot: ...because saving the ship inevitably results in Sploorfix blogging about it. And I am therefore safer out here!
It seems airlocking is habitual among Bleen...
Bleen Invasion Fleet Commander: Command makes for a lonely life...that and flushing your bridge crew into space...
Translator Microbes: Justified, since Vexxarr is telepathic. However, all newly picked up crew members can not only talk to Vexxarr, but also to each other without problems (No mouths are ever seen on them either, and Sid lived in a vacuum, so perhaps they communicate telepathically too).
Who's Laughing Now?: After managing to successfully impersonate the leader of a group of vegetable-based AI that have been trying to kill him, he vents pretty much all of the frustration he's accumulated over the course of the strip through creative vengeance
Sploorfix: What are you thinking?
Minionbot: That Vexxarr has been in space entirely too long.
Bleen commander: Look, I'm going to make this easy for you. Either tell me whether or not that planet is indeed the earth or throw yourself out of the airlock. Your choice. [Beat Panel] Command makes for a lonely life. That, and flushing your bridgecrew into space.
Granted, spacing is not fatal to the Bleen, but after the number of acolytes in orbit became a navigational hazard the Emperor started vaporizing them instead.