Johnny Raygun Quarterly #3

Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2005
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Johnny Raygun Quarterly #3 Creator(s): Rich Woodall and Matt Talboto
Publishers: Jetpack Press
From: USA
Price: $2.95(US)

This latest edition of Johnny Rayg has got a cracker of a cover, courtesy of one Ed Mc Guiness. It certainly sets up a mouth watering first impression for this "not- quite- a –hit- but –cool- nevertheless, comic."

The best aspect of this particular edition is that it does something that I had been wanting to happen for a while now. That is it develops the character of Johnny himself. Avid readers of this title know the main character as a witty, reluctant hero who is sometimes painfully unaware of the ironical situations that he finds himself in, but was this the real Johnny? We wanted more and with this comic we have had our desires sated. Johnny Raygun the intergalactic space agent with a fondness for fast food, video games and all the slacker time he can muster now has a romantic side.

It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World is the title of the main story in this edition and it kicks off with action a plenty as the Raygun agents do battle with the Anthropod army of King Thorax. The "action" plot revolves around the attempts of the sinister genius Darkmind to become the undisputed master of all the cities villains. The heart of the story though is the precarious path that Johnny Raygun has to walk between leaping, jumping, fighting, super hero guy and insecure, nervous, falling- in- love guy.

This contrast is apparent elsewhere as well. On one page Dirk Squarejaw [the Director of Raygun HQ] contemplates the effect of a galaxy wide war and on the next Johnny contemplates a ride on the Ferris wheel. In one frame the collected villains of the city discuss their position, in the next they have to deal with a whinging neighbour complaining about the noise and at the end of the story Johnny Raygun is given a glimpse of a bleak future shortly before a gets the long awaited smooch with the girl.

The way these two worlds collide provides most of the humour present and also gives the comic a nice feeling of dynamic tension. It is a well- structured story and as a result a compelling read. Johnny is, as always, infuriating in his naivety but this adds to the charm of this boyish thirty year old.
Ultimately as the publisher Ralph Di Bernardo says, we love comic books and we think it shows. Think no more Ralph, it does show.

In a Word: Bi-polar.

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