The first thing that you need to know about Gogor, the new comic from Planetoid creator Ken Garing is this: It’s good. It is very good.
Want details? Okay.
Gogor #1 is brimming with the right kind of nostalgia. It feels like an old Star Comic based on some Hanna Barbara Saturday AM cartoon that you forgot existed. Something that might have aired right before Goltar and the Golden Lance. The exuberance of it, the unashamed colorfulness, is refreshing. The cloth from which this was cut is the same fabric Genndy Tartakovsky took scissors to when he made Samurai Jack. It’s a big, colorful, world full of monsters and exotic places and familiar tropes where we get to gleefully watch its creator play.
The bad guys wear chunky black armor and ride menacing black beetles and carry chunky wooden rifles that shoot arrows. The good guy—Armano—wears a poncho and—in the tradition of young, hot-blooded protagonists at odds with sinister militaristic forces—he wields a big stick. He rides a giant mole-like creature named Mesmer. Mesmer is adorable. The black-armored baddies hate Mesmer. They’re bastards.
This is a world where people use expletives like “THUNDER BALL!” and “BY THE WHEEL OF ALTARA!” This is primo shit.
Which isn’t to say it’s mindless. Far from it. Like the best fantasy, this is chock-full of juicy Social Science candies to suck on, like, I dunno, the merits of communal living, property-as-theft, or the willingness to use violence as the only real basis for ownership in an ownerless natural world. Even the core concept—Gogor himself—scratches that old “Natural Order vs. Machinery of Man” itch in just the right way, and there are just the right amount of barbed aphorisms scattered throughout the dialogue to catch yourself on, and find yourself mulling over for a moment, before getting back to the fun.
And GOGOR #1 is fun. The board is set from stage one, and we know who to cheer for. The iron-fisted DOMUS have declared war on the sky-islands of Altara. An artifact has been rescued from conquest, and must be taken somewhere it may be put to good use, and the only man for the job is our mole-rider, Armano. Issue #1 promises a fun new journey ahead, with plenty of high-stakes rigamarole and quirky—yet somehow familiar characters.
If anything, that’s the takeaway here. Familiarity, and in the best way. Because as unique and whimsical as the world of Altara and its denizens might be, this is a story that delights in its tradition.
The tradition here is Star Wars. It’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and Thundarr the Barbarian. It’s all the stuff you loved as a kid.
Pro tip: You never stopped loving it. And you’re gonna love Gogor #1.
Gogor is published by Image Comics and can be purchased from their website or your local comic book store.