Nov 7, 2016
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 621: Gammarauders #10, December 1989
I think that Gammarauders may well be the longest full series I've read through for this project so far. That said, I'm sad that it's not longer. This is a series that I think was just starting to find its footing. Though it never quite moves away, and nor should it, from the giant animals with guns trope that makes the comic and the game what they are, Gillis and company seemed to be getting around to exploring the world a little bit, and projecting forward what the politics of this bizarre era would look like. A setting like this offers the opportunity to bridge the genres of action-comedy and political thriller rather nicely, and though it's only speculation, I feel like this is where it was heading.
Today's issue seems a little more coherent than yesterdays, which is nice given that it's the last one. As I noted yesterday, there's a two-page summation of the story, and I guess of the series, at the end of the issue. This is a device I don't see deployed nearly enough - if a comic has been cancelled, why not let us in on where it was going to go. No writer in comics is merely winging it (or would admit to it, anyway!), and though it's a blow to have a comic cancelled, it would be nice to have some kind of closure to a story.
Final thoughts on the series? I preferred Martin King's art over Gordon Purcell's for the setting - the stylization of the setting needs a more stylized art. I found Purcell's interpretations of the characters, especially Allisdau, far too superhero for the series. In fact, while King and Purcell managed to maintain a fair bit of consistency with most of their depictions of main characters throughout, Allisdau is the exception. It's literally like they're drawing completely different characters. From a writing stance, the butchered plays on old-timey sayings were getting a bit hackneyed, but as I note above, Gillis seems to have been interested in actually developing the world, so some of the slapstick-y-ness was disappearing in exchange for the potential of some interesting satire. Ah well.
For those interested, the game Gammarauders had one expansion that introduced not only a wider range of 'Borgs, but also the fearsome Gammasaurus, a giant hybrid creature that rampaged across the board (controlled by your most chaotic of friends) while the other players tried to win. Whether or not this would have found its way into the comic, I don't know.
Not sure where we're heading tomorrow. Join us, won't you? See you in the Big Nada.