In a year that has brought us murder hornets, killed a rock legend and a heroic retired wrestler, seen humans ingesting bleach and sent Comic-Con online, rest assured of one thing with absolute certainty: Ludocrats #1 is the craziest damned thing to happen this year. Where to begin? Well, this is less a script from talented scribe Kieron Gillen and more of a felonious assault on the collective psyche with a fully automatic dictionary. Words are wielded like waves by a tsunami: for example, the elegant evil of Voldigan the Perdifous would make Starscream swoon with jealousy. He's not even the third craziest person in this book as each personage excels more in the main occupation here: being ludicrous.
With absurdism as a mission statement, this book eschews standards while still delivering an actually interesting narrative that's possible to follow past the pelting of pompous verbiage ("Cruelty to cows is bad enough, but unimaginative cruelty to cows! You don't even have the fig leaf of brilliance to cower behind!"). We didn't even get to the surprise guest appearance, which is like a calzone packed with surreality.
The highly stylized visuals from Jeff Stokely, Tamra Bonvillain, and Clayton Cowles spans a host of styles. There are the "Archies Meet Morrigan Aensland" stylings of Elaina Tryptitch, the Disenchanted look of the aforementioned Voldigan, and the "Doctor Robotnik meets Fat Cobra" approach for the arguable protagonist, Baron Otto. All of them meld together easily with gigantic cephalopods dueling with syringe-tipped tentacles … everything here is so crazy! Be certain; this is not a deficit; it's the most wonderful benefit of all.
If you thought waiting to see how far Jack Bauer would go gave you some thrills, the lusty, murder-hungry madness on display here could blow your wig clean off of your head. If you have no wig, you might want to invest in one to keep your mind from being blown. This is entertainment, and you'd be wise to get some. RATING: BUY.
The Ludocrats #1 (of 5)
The Ludocrats! The aristocrats of ludicrous! A collision of the ornate fantasy of Dune and an M-rated Asterix & Obelix! Baron Otto Von Hades and Professor Hades Zero-K are here, and they're going to save us all have a nice time.
KIERON GILLEN (DIE, THE WICKED + THE DIVINE) and JIM ROSSIGNOL (Sir, You Are Being Hunted) write! JEFF STOKELY (The Spire) draws! TAMRA BONVILLAIN (Once & Future) colors! Clayton Cowles (BITTER ROOT, DIE) letters! The universe screams in pleasure, writhing, finally satisfied, complete, joyous!