Publisher: Red Fox Comics
Story: Mike Loniewski
Artwork: The Mico (aka: Mihajlo Dimitrievski)
Letters: Marco Della Verde
Release Date: 22nd November 2017
“A fugitive ape, fighting to redeem his militant past, must battle vengeful superheroes and bigoted humans as he races to stop his radicalized mentor fused with dangerous powers”
So, when you are handed a comic with a premise like that, what do you expect? What I certainly didn’t expect was such a cracking read. Yes it’s only January, but this is hands-down one of the best things I’ve got my hands on so far this year.
Gung Ho’s world, superficially at least, could be like our own if you liberally threw in morally questionable super heroes and anthropomorphic animals…
The capers begin five years after the defeat of Hector (big bad) and his animal terrorists, where we are cordially reminded to speak out against any suspicious animal activity. Yup, straight away I got the impending sense of heavy-handed allegory. It would be all too easy to get carried away with this and end up detracting from the enjoyment of the core story but instead writer Mike Loniewski handles it well, providing a bold, brash, explosion filled corker.
By page two our eponymous anti-hero, using guns and grenades aplenty, is conducting a mid-air rescue of the world’s greatest actress. However, instead of accolades and adoration, Oliver (Gung Ho) is side-lined in a cover-up because he’s an ape. So where does this leave our soldier of fortune? Fortunately for us, sucked into a plot that doesn’t let up.
The story itself is helped by the tremendous artwork from The Mico throughout. It’s all very reminiscent of Cartoon Network ala Dexter’s Lab, Cow and Chicken et al. where one can almost feel the animation in the scenes. The only negative, and it’s just me being picky, is that the colouring style seems to change frequently early on which threw me a little. As an additional aside, there’s a lot of onomatopoeia which I’m generally not keen on. That said, given the ‘out there’ nature of the book, it’s perfectly in keeping with the overall tone.
I feel there also needs to be special mention of what is likely to be one of my new favourite vigilantes in the form of Claymore. He’s a kilt clad, heavily armed, red-bearded terror; who just happens to live with his old mum. Yes, this book is the gift that just keeps on giving.
Gung Ho #1 is, like Shrek would say, an onion; it’s got layers. Beneath the irreverence and obvious social commentary it also make me think. What makes you a baddie? What happens when you fight for a cause that you realise is flawed? Of course, if you prefer, you could simply gloss over all that highfalutin’ nonsense and simply enjoy the effort that these folks have put into this fantastic new series.
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You can grab yourself a copy of Gung Ho #1 from ComiXology by CLICKING HERE.
The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster