Publisher: Image Comics
Created by: Ken Garing
Release Date: 11th September 2019
Last issue we were left with Armano sitting in a cell, a prisoner of the cruel and selfish citizens of the walled city of Azimuth. This issue opens ominously with Armano being brought in chains before General Magus and his reptilian assassin Amphax, and only Gogor can save him now. Upon their escape, Armano and Gogor show us some of the other islands of Altara, and the devastation that the Domus have brought to the people and the ecosystems of these incredible, beautiful islands.
At its heart this series has always been a commentary on Western civilisation’s blind and unthinking progress for progress’ sake and our inability to see or apparently care about the cost of our actions. The recent fires in the Amazon are a perfect example, with millions of acres of forest apparently incinerated on purpose to make way for commercial land and the response from the world was largely indifferent and late.
As a race, we seem to see ourselves as great thinkers, great imaginers; that progress, advancement and innovation are the sole reason for our existence. We seldom look at the devastation we leave in our wake, the ecosystems that we irretrievably destroy, the pollution and poison we pump into the air and water or bury underground. The need to have the latest, the shiniest, the most convenient, is for the vast majority so ingrained that it’s beyond brain washing and almost at a genetic level. At best we wring our hands and say how terrible it is, while expecting someone else to wave a magic wand and make everything better.
Ken Garing takes all of this and weaves it into a narrative that brings us a truly great high fantasy tale. We aren’t beaten about the head however. This isn’t a political manifesto, it’s a magical, fantasy saga that just happens to make you stop and think. I’ve compared this series in the past to Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal, and the recent revival of the series and the themes the Netflix series covers just further reinforces this comparison.
Garing is a superb storyteller who has given us a world (or worlds) that is alive and tangible and full of characters who are tactile and emotional. People that you can really empathise with and feel for their struggles. I have found this series utterly fascinating from start to finish and, unfortunately, this is the finish. Issue five will be the last part of the saga for Gogor, Armano and the denizens of Altara. Ken Garing’s planned 10 issue run just didn’t garner enough pre-orders to keep it going and there are no plans to continue the story through Image.
At the back of this issue is a heartfelt thank you to all the people who helped to create this series and supported it. It highlights once again the importance of supporting your local comic book store, and how important pre-orders are when it comes to supporting the continued creation of these comics. This is a series produced by one of the major publishing houses, so imagine how difficult it is for indie comics and small press to get their stories out into the world. I’m very sad that this series has ended prematurely, because this has been a real highlight of my pull list over the last few months and I’m sorry to see that it hasn’t received the support it clearly deserves.
If you didn’t pick up the single issues of Gogor, have no fear, because you still have a chance to grab the trade paperback collection which is due to be released next month.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek