Eons ago, aliens from the planet Scumdogia named GWAR were banished to the “insignificant” Earth. They created humans, triggered an Ice Age, and were frozen in Antarctica until crack dealer Sleazy P. Martini saved them. Seeing the opportunity for both cash and rock and roll, Sleazy turned these monsters into the greatest shock rock band to grace us humans with their presence. Comprised of Jizmak Da Gusha, Blothar, Balsac the Jaws of Death, Pustulus Maximus, Bonesnapper the Cave Troll, and Beefcake the Mighty, GWAR became a rock and roll sensation.
Now, they’re stuck in a broken time machine that spits them out into different times and places. GWAR is trying to find a way back to the present, but it won’t be that easy with their enemy, Mr. Perfect, trying to keep them lost in the time stream.
GWAR has had comics self-published in the ‘90s, but Dynamite Entertainment is bringing them to the forefronts of our favorite medium with social satire, gore, humor, and so much more. This series focuses on the newer members of GWAR, but certainly gives a solid nod to the former. You don’t need to be a fan of GWAR or their music to understand and enjoy this issue, but it helps to get a more immersive reading experience.
I might be biased, sure, but I’m not sorry for that. GWAR was, is, and always will be one of my top ten favorite bands of all time and my number one favorite experience was seeing them live in Baltimore, years ago. I’ve been to a lot of shows, but none as energetic, enthralling, and impactful as GWAR’s set. You might think that a lot of GWAR’s actions are hyperbolized in this comic, but no—they’re actually this fun, this lively, this violent, and this perfect in real life. These Gods of Gore know how to leave an impression, and this issue is no exception to that legacy and talent.
The creative team on this series is amazing. GWAR works alongside Matt Miner (Toe Tag Riot, Critical Hit), Jonathan Brandon Sawyer (Welcome Back, Critical Hit), Marissa Louise (RoboCop, Escape from New York), Taylor Esposito (The Paybacks, Red Hood and the Outlaws), and Brendan Wright (Archie vs. Predator, Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight). Together, these individuals make one of the most talented and imaginative creative teams I’ve seen in a while. Their efforts definitely pay off in a premiere issue that is somehow even better than I expected. I’ve been hyped for this series for quite some time now, and it’s my pleasure to announce that it was well worth the wait.
The script for this issue is filled with humor on every page. From Sleazy’s preoccupation with a joke he’s trying to tell all the way to fights with priorities on Instagram filters, this issue is full of jokes, fun, and side-splitting comicality. This is in large part what makes the pacing of the issue pretty damn fast from the beginning. There is a lot of movement and fluid progression from panel to panel and page to page.
Another thing I love about the script is its inclusion of historical and pop culture references. We see the freaking Hindenburg! And GWAR blows it up with a lighter! References to Tyler Durden (Fight Club), Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Watchmen, and more make this issue even more relatable and captivating.
The dialogue between members of GWAR is natural—for a bunch of aliens—and presents a clear development of the narrative. The language used is with respect to the GWAR mythos, but can be understood without too much knowledge on the subject. The diction is vulgar, rude, and oh so enjoyable.
Sawyer and Maguire’s artwork is on point! There are hyperbolized character designs that very closely resemble the members of GWAR themselves, which is awesome. The line work is rather angular, keeping realism at a safe distance to be regarded only with words. The panels are really cluttered and, despite this being a risky move, it fits the tone of the issue perfectly. It doesn’t get too overwhelming, but instead keeps the eye really busy, wanting to catch every minute detail of the artwork.
The art style is a bit cartoonish. With so much gore, violence, and death, this actually comes in handy. Instead of an art style that’s too realistic (turning the issue into a strictly horror genre), the animated quality of the pencils helps to dial down the gore a bit and make it so that we can see tons without being turned off by the concept of so much blood and guts. This was a great decision for the creative team to make, and it pays off.
I haven’t been this impressed with a comic book in a long time. So much havoc, wreckage, time travel, awesomeness, and adventures of epic proportions! To say I’m happy with this issue is a gross understatement of how I truly feel right now. To see one of my favorite bands coming into one of my favorite mediums with such a strong start makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Whether or not you know of and/or have heard GWAR’s music, you’re going to love this issue. It’s clear that it took a lot of time and effort, and this creative team has orchestrated something truly unique and beautiful, to say the least.
Written by: Matt Maguire & Matt Miner
Illustrated by: Jonathan Brandon Sawyer and Matt Maguire