Now that’s he’s awoken Gogor, Armano finds himself drawn further away from home in the struggle against The Domus.
Now that the legendary Gogor has been awakened, all Armano has to do is get him back to Academea, right? Find out in Gogor #2!
Writer: Ken Garing
Artist: Ken Garing
Letterer: Ken Garing
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: #3.99
Release Date: June 12, 2019
Previously in Gogor: The world of Altara, a lushly verdant world of floating islands is threatened by the rise of the Domus, militaristic people who use giant insects as mounts. The young man Armano is entrusted with a scroll from his people on the island of Academea. He needs to take it to Greenpeak. Along the way, he meets a small group of artisans, one of whom is Wexil, a lizard man. Wexil translates the scroll which mentions “Gogor,” and his friend Minra tells of a legend about Gogor, who awakens when trouble comes to the land. Wexil and Armano get to Greenpeak where Armano recites from the scroll, to no avail until he shakes the scrollcase, finds a seed, and plants it, just as the Domus forces arrive!
THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF A RELUCTANT HERO
Gogor #2 opens in the middle of the fight with the Domus on their wasp mounts, where Gogor’s arrival (growing from the seed) completely changes the momentum. The soldiers shoot Gogor with little effect, other than making him angry. He can withstand arrows, pull the wasps out of the air, exhale clouds of bugs and pollen, and can pretty much trample everyone flat. For his finale, which is visually quite funny, he balls up the Domus soldiers into a large ball and flings them off the island.
Armano tries talking to him, asking him to come help them on Academea. Gogor points to the distant island of Bogwell Major instead. After a staredown, which Gogor wins, Armano decides to go to Bogwell Major. Wexil directs them to the edge of the island where, with any luck, they can flag down Bonri and his balloon to take them there. Well, at least Armano and Gogor can go; Wexil thinks he and Mesmer (Armano’s shrew) would only slow them down, so they’ll meet up later. We also pick up a little more history, this time about a time in history called the Days of Blot, where again there were overlords who caused trouble for all.
The Domus have taken over Academea, and the soldiers wait for the arrival of their leader, General Magus. The General wants the captives to be removed, but he’s really most interested in the scroll. The fact that it has not yet been recovered angers him, and he sends out Amphax, his personal assassin, to get the boy and the scroll. At about this time, the balled up soldiers from early-on in this issue make their appearance. This was honestly kind of funny.
Bogwell Major, as you might imagine, is a swampy place. Gogor is picking up some words, and tells Armano they’re searching for “Tetrahedron.” Armano is tired, lost, and confused, becoming even a bit moreso when he turns around and finds Gogor simply…gone. He does meet up with a group of small, friendly bog people who invite him into their pod for snacks, and tell him their story. This is already a book with strong environmental leadings. The bog people talk of the Blotted Age, when the invaders drained the swamp and planted grain in monoculture, enslaving the bog folk to do the work. Then, abruptly, this ended and things went back to normal. But they do mention the sorceress, Tetra Hedron, who may be able to help.
Gogor reappears – he spent the night in the bog. He and Armano, with some of the bog people, head off in search of the sorceress. She allows them into her sanctuary…and promises to answer their questions.
While the narrative line of Gogor #2 is straightforward, what really makes the story magical is the artwork. Gogor is not just a big, strong brute; he’s also creative and acrobatic. I just love how he is covered with green and growing things. He exhales green pollen, and there’s a scene where he blows his nose and snorts out a snail. What would otherwise just be gross is funny with him because it fits so appropriately.
The settings are so cool. We’re two issues in, and already several of the islands have entirely different ecosystems on them. This story has a lot to do with the environment, and a lot of care has been taken with showing us how wonderful these places are. Bogwell Major is richly green and swampy. The little humanoid bog people are very fitting – small and green, with bulgy, frog-like eyes. And they’re all little individuals with a lot of character. We see a cutaway section of their pod and the complicated inner structure. It’s fascinating.
And the art still has more to give – Amphax the assassin is snakelike and terrifying. Tetra Hedron’s sanctum is a different kind of place yet, and it is quite beautiful.
BOTTOM LINE: A THOROUGHLY CHARMING TALE
Gogor #2 is an engaging story full of interesting characters. It’s a fun journey to go on for the sake of the trip – what we see, what we learn, and who we meet.