Having seen the previews of this book completely by chance, I was intrigued by the unique plot and decided to give it a shot. I was not disappointed. I’ve not read much of writer Simon Spurrier’s previous work except some issues of his current Marvel Now series X-Men Legacy. I have to say I'm not a big fan of that series so was hesitant to give this a chance. But the idea of a gun totting gorilla in a sci-fi western with a suicidal side kick is just too interesting to pass up!
This issue almost entirely focuses on the aforementioned sidekick, code named Blue 34-25. We only see the gorilla, who remains unnamed, near the end of the issue. But let me tell you it was a violent and bloody appearance worth waiting for! The art by relative newcomer Jeff Stokely is really eye catching and suits the story perfectly. Looking at the world Stokely has drawn reminds me of certain episodes of Firefly which is definitely a good thing. Blister is a rough, dangerous and often desolate planet yet still manages to look beautiful. This is in big parts thanks to colourist Andre May. The dialogue is spot on and quite funny at times and the support characters are quite well fleshed out in the few panels they appear in. You immediately find out the “origin story” of Blue 34-25 and this is interesting enough to make you want to read on. Blue may not be appealing enough to carry the series, but we have a sharp shooting Silverback to fill that role.
This isn't just a sci-fi action story either. The undertone of social commentary about people happily watching other people get blown to bits – something that the TV networks are only too happy to provide – adds a deeper element to the overall series. Plus there’s a mystery about a war hero who may not be so heroic after all.
Overall I highly recommend this issue. It’s got an intriguing, well written plot with often hilarious dialogue and the art is perfectly complimented by the vibrant colours. The explosive and brutal action is complimented by a mysterious overarching story… and there is A GORILLA WITH A PAIR OF SIX-SHOOTERS (who wears a poncho).