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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

BHP Comics: Rok of the Reds #1






Written by John Wagner & Alan A. Grant
Art by Dan Cornwell
Colours by Abigail Bulmer
Lettering by Jim Campbell
 24 Pages |
 Available now |
R.R.P £3.99

Industry legends John Wagner and Alan Grant (Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Judgement on Gotham, A History of Violence) team up once again to bring you Rok of the Reds alongside stunning art by Dan Cornwell.

Rok of the Reds is a six part series showing what happens when the lives of a dangerous intergalactic outlaw and an arrogant footballer collide. With his home world destroyed, Rok of Arkadi is on the run and needs a hiding place. And that hiding place happens to be troubled football star Kyle Dixon.
A black comedy about revenge, redemption and the ‘beautiful game’.

There is nothing really that original about the "alien hiding on Earth as a human" story-line, but I was hopeful that with both Wagner and Grant writing this ought to be one to really get into.  It could just be that it is the first issue so you have to lay the groundwork for the stories and characters Rok and Kyle. But, I was very let down.

"A black comedy" -I hope it begins in #2 because I certainly was not laughing.  In fact, until checked the book blurb notes I never even suspected that it was meant to be humorous.  And the dialogue was quite..."off" for instance, when back at his lodgings Kyle cannot find his "Lucky shirt" so his landlady,  Mrs. Brooking, suggests he ought to have a quiet night in because of his team manager being concerned about the player's late nights:

Kyle: "The manager? You stupid woman, who gives a flying fig about the manager?"
Mrs Brooking: "How can you speak to me like that, Kyle Dixon!"
Kyle: "I just open my mouth and the words come out! Stupid--woman--There! I said it again!"

Mrs Brooking then tells Kyle she'll report him to the football club. I actually sat there and read that a few times to see if I was missing something.  I wasn't.  Not only was the story not that original but the script seemed quite...poor. Could be due to being the establishing first issue as I wrote above but I could not find a single thing funny in this.  That confuses me because I expect "industry legends John Wagner and Alan Grant" to produce better than this.  But, first issue.
 The art.  I liked the cover.  The interior art was okay.  Nothing I would complain about and, in fact, it is the strongest thing in this book.  Well, what helps the art even more is the excellent colour work of Abby Bulmer.  The book wins by art!  Buy a copy?  You might as well.  It could just be that my black comedy detector is off but I know there are a good few Grant and Wagner fans and this ought to draw in the 2000 AD fans as well.  I'm hoping #2 (if I get a copy after this review) will set the pace and get things going and it is only six issues after all so what do you have to lose?
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8F5OcoiubOg/VtYxQQAJ9pI/AAAAAAAAYRU/Y5F-TqvXmns/s1600/ROK_pg9.jpg

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