This time we have two reviews for this title. Beast Commandos is such a fun comic that both Kurt Borg and Raphael Borg had positive things to say about the comic.

Beast Commandos #1
Published by Amigo
Script and art by ROGER BONET
Cover artist DIEGO GALINDO
Lettering by MALAKA STUDIO

Beast Commandos # 1
Review by Raphael Borg

Looking at the caption just above the logo on the front cover pretty much sums up my first impression of the comic: “Violence and Grittiness served directly from the ‘epic era’ of the 90’s”. Whether the presence of the inverted commas in said caption transforms the idea behind the comic as a tongue-in-cheek parody of aforementioned comics from the oft-described “Dark Age” or “Chromium Age” of comics, typified by disproportionate and impractical anti-heroes with no qualm in shedding the blood of any and all who stand between them and their quarry, whom also usually experiences a similar fate by the end of the tale. Needless to say, the comic itself is littered with such hyper-violence and cheesy one-liners that would make my favourite 10-layered mozzarella and caciocavallo sandwich cringe.

The very first few pages star an anthropomorphised shark reminiscent of the 90’s TV series Street Sharks, complete with the overdose of pouches, abnormal proportions and guns-a-blazing typical of the era, making a massacre of a village of ducks(!) bearing incredibly evident Vietnamese stereotypes. Regardless, I must say that in spite of this the artwork is much better than one would expect of 90’s comics. Gone are the jagged edges and unnaturally disfigured anatomies typical of Liefeldian comics. Gone are the continuity bumps between one panel and another. Moreover, it makes use of cartoonish proportions and movement reminiscent of Tex Avery and Looney Tunes cartoons, rendering even the most visceral of moments into something not unlike a Droopy or Tom and Jerry Cartoon. If it wasn’t as bloody and if these acts of annihilation weren’t committed by the person we’re supposed to sympathise with I’d even call it cartoonishly hilarious. Unfortunately, I find the characters completely unrelatable which completely removes the reader from what transpires. Most of them seem like cardboard cut-outs of what could be seen in any cheesy action movie, complete with your average one-liner spewing, cigar-chomping, gun-toting muscle-bound thug and your average crime-boss obsessed with manifesting his foothold of power by shooting people. Again, like all action movies the motivations behind our characters seem pretty standard – your average-action-hero-vs-average-crime-boss drama, which quite frankly is not my cup of tea. If you like your comics full of testosterone-fuelled explosions, gun-toting muscle-bound mercenaries, ultra-violence and cheesy one-liners, then this is the comic for you. If, like me, you like your comics more cerebral with action punctuating or being an organic consequence of the drama involved, then this is most definitely not the comic for you. Granted that the artwork is gorgeously cartoonish and over-the-top, and the humor does deliver the occasional giggle when it is not juvenile (“BUTT-FACE”) or a cringe-worthy pun (“DONALD-TELLO”); although the character himself did not pique my interest , the introduction to Don Walrus (yes…a Mafioso walrus…) did crack a smile (“GOODNESS, DOCTOR! YOU OUGHTTA BE ABLE TO TELL APART A DEATH SCREAM FROM HARMLESS THUNDER!”) But as it stands, I give the comic 2.5 out of five, given that, although it (supposedly) riffs on 90’s comics tropes, the artwork is gorgeous and nothing like the comics its meant to be tributing.

Beast Commandos #1 Review
by Kurt Borg

A comic book embracing a theme of anthropomorphized animals with the human-shark (Captain Dark Shark) as the protagonist of the issue.

Dark Shark is depicted as an action-hungry, gory guerrilla-type soldier, much reminiscent of John Rambo; winning by wreaking havoc even though the odds are stacked against him. The plot is rather standard; Dark Shark has to infiltrate Don Walrus’s (the drug lord) compound with utmost stealth. However, he does so by bursting through a wall, guns blazing.

Overall the story is intended to be comical and it indeed is, with actual city names twisted to accommodate the comic’s setting. Names such as “Duckpei” and “Duck Kong” crop up along the panels, eliciting chuckles if not mild laughter from readers.

I have mixed feelings regarding the comic book as a whole. Its art is both adequate and impeccable. There is just enough gore to fit the setting but not too much as to upset the readers or make them feel queasy. Detail isn’t missing either.

The dialog is easily-grasped, in the sense that one can easily follow the conversations without confusion. It is also skilfully developed, as through such dialog, the characters come out across very well and that makes the issue (and subsequent series) very easy to read through while enjoying it.
The whole premise, however, is ridiculous at best. Walking, talking animals shooting each other, however it makes for a hilarious read and it made me want to read the next issue.

In conclusion Beast Commandos is funny, engaging, skilfully developed and finally; recommended.

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