Comics Review: Gung-Ho by Eckartsberg and Kummant

Gung-ho is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian comic for adults reminiscent of the Walking Dead series. I was intrigued by its beautiful Asian or perhaps Kill-bill inspired cover, and even though I am getting a little tired of the survival genre, I was curious as to what take it would have on the topic. This is a French translation I understand, French comics often have gorgeous art and many I believe deserve to be translated and better known.

The stories here followed two orphaned (16 and 18 years old) brothers, Archi and Zak, trouble makers who have been kicked out of every colony. Their last chance is in a fringe human camp, very close to the monster plaguing this alternative reality. The stakes are high from the get go: survival in a corrupt camp, and added to the mix is a strong tension between teens and adults. The cast in fact is mainly composed of teens, but this is a mature audience read only, with graphic depictions of violence, sex scenes and hard core themes. 

The illustrations are amazing. They are very realistic, with an immense stock of digital textures. The colours are vibrant, the style very urban and wild. There is something that reminded me of Cyberpunk 2077. It fits a post-apocalyptic world perfectly… I just wish the story had been different.

I was never taken in, all the characters were detestable to me, the younger brother could be ok, but everything about the story was so grim and depressing, the bullies so cliched, the sex for drug trade so over-used, and the older brother so annoying and girl-obsessed, that getting to the end of the comic felt like a chore. 

This is just not my style of story, I imagine the audience would be principally new adult male. I guess I need texts infused with a little more hope and characters that talk to me, and if they are not, like something similar to “I am Legend”, they need to have complex enough characters and intriguing messages to keep me gripped.

I was given this ARC for an honest review, the book will be coming out in January 2021.

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