Jul 26, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 882: Johnny Raygun Special Edition #1, 2003

https://www.comics.org/issue/354632/

I don't remember where I first read Johnny Raygun. I'm thinking it was a FCBD some time, and the character and concept just grabbed me. I have a soft spot for this kind of pulp science fiction that draws on things like the old Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon film serials. Couple this with a healthy dose of Kirby-esque graphics, and you've got a winner. I've always meant to track down the rest of the series (5 other issues of the Johnny Raygun Quarterly), but, as with many small press comics, they're not the most ubiquitous things in the world. So we'll just read through what I've got, and be happy about it, right?

I think the best way for me to describe the series is Hellboy in space. The main characters are Raygun agents who are sent in to sensitive situations in order to defuse them. Johnny is very good at his job, though his social skills are occasionally lacking - perfect fodder for a protagonist, really. With H2Olaf and Waaage at his side, Johnny protects the innocent, sometimes from situations of his own making. Matt Talbot does a really nice job of incorporating Kirby's science fiction aesthetic, cultivated in comics from 2001 to Captain Victory to give us a retro-future comic that is equal parts exciting and amusing.

More Raygun mayhem tomorrow. To be continued.

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