Publisher: Ahoy Comics
Writer: Stuart Moore
Artwork: Alberto Ponticelli
Colour: Giulia Busco
Letters: Rob Steen
Release Date: 3rd April 2019
The Earth is being invaded, and the last line of defence appears to be a group of super intelligent Chimps and some seriously stoned scientists…
Almost 4,000 years earlier, the warriors of Morbia fight an army of undead monsters, commanded by mages. Brita, daughter of the chieftain has started to hear a strange voice in her head, chanting lyrics that are like a twisted, demented version of the Blue Oyster Cult. Looking for answers, she turns to her friend Sniffer, who just happens to be a time travelling chimpanzee with a Brooklyn accent…
What do you get if you throw Planet of The Apes, War of the Worlds, Conan The Barbarian and Foxy Brown into a blender? You get this fantastically entertaining and psychedelic ride from the pen of Stuart Moore. I genuinely have no idea where to start with this one. There is so much going on and it all blends together seamlessly. It has the feel of Grant Morrison (on one of his saner kicks) being helped along by Gerard Way with a great sense of humour to boot. There aren’t many people I can think of who could pull off sci-Fi, fantasy, sword and sorcery, and give it a ‘70s disco spin all in the same book but Moore seems to do it effortlessly.
It seems inevitable, if we’re to believe the fiction of the last hundred years, that mankind is not destined to be the dominant species for much longer. So finding, once again, that the future lies in the hands of chimpanzees is no great surprise. The same literature tells us that time travel will be quite normal and prevalent, and also tells us that we’re all going to be driven to near extinction by an alien invasion most likely from Mars. What I have never seen before, is the whole shooting match in one story, and definitely not one that also combines sword and sorcery. I’m pretty damned impressed that with everything going on that this manages to be both coherent and fun!
The artwork in this issue is incredibly good all things considered, and Alberto Ponticelli and Giulia Busco manage to juggle the myriad genres with style. There’s nothing that jars or clashes, and it takes some serious skill to put talking apes in ‘70s polyester disco threads on the same page as a barbarian horde, undead monsters that look like Evil Dead Vs the Uruk-Hai visited a Manga studio, and Victorian-style Martian invaders.
The overall effect, combining the writing and the artwork is something that has the makings of a top quality series that promises to deliver a whole lot of fun along the way. This is a definite two-thumbs-up from me. This issue is so much fun and has a bucketload of charisma. I have not got a single clue where it’s going, but it’s off to an incredible start and I cannot wait to see where we’re taken next.
There is also a bonus within this issue, as we get another story from a different creative team and it’s also a ton of fun. MAJOR URSA is penned by Tyrone Finch and illustrated by Mauricet. This is a 1950s sci-fi B-Movie in comic book form. Which, for me, is a genre that I absolutely love whether it’s on screen, in a novel or indeed a comic. What if the space race used Bears instead of Chimps and what if an accident during a test imbued one of those bears with human intelligence? At only eight pages long, we only get a very brief introduction to this series but it’s a fun take on the genre that I’m looking forward to seeing more of.
Rating (Bronze Age Boogie): 3.5/5.
Rating (Major Ursa): 3/5.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek