GOD-PUNCHER, ISSUES #1-3
Cartoonist: Lane Lloyd
WHAT IS IT?
A hilarious action/adventure story of a man that stood up to his gods, now with a bounty on his head, plus two sentient arms.
A mix of Indie comics insanity and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Tim Finnly was betrayed and dis-armed by his own gods. Understandably this would anger anyone, with Tim seeking help from the Witch-Smith who arms him with new limbs, dubbed: Lev (Left arm) and Reg (right arm). Now re-armed he does what anyone seeking revenge does: punch gods, which aptly dubs him the “God-Puncher.”
This story alone could drive a multitude of issues, but Lloyd amps the plot even further. Famed adventurer, Vaxis, who defeated the greed god, Vas’tagot, is now aging and dying. With this, she sets up a race: climb the Mountains of Leanore, face its danger and you’ll gain all of her riches. But, before she finishes, she has a special message for Tim, one that is never announced due to her untimely death.
“Untimely” may be the best way of saying it, as the culprit is none other than the lord of time, Syrem. Now, with the audience at his whim, Syrem announces his game; instead of riches gained from traversing the mountain, the players must kill Tim Finnly. If they do this, they’ll join his Pantheon and gain power. Plus, if he doesn’t receive the God-Punchers head, he’ll start wiping out cities.
Sounds pretty epic, huh?
"What works?" Honestly, just about everything. Lloyd understands the comics medium quite well, which shows greatly in the three issues.
The plot is easy to follow, yet filled to the brim with world-building and a vast history waiting to be explored. Plus, the pacing is quite fast, but never feels like you’re speeding through.
Although some parts are serious, there is also a multitude of hilarious moments. Be it in dialogue, plot, or character actions/reactions, you’ll laugh a fair bit.
The names Lloyd comes up with for each character are weirdly imaginative, which is pretty funny when you contrast it against the main character’s name.
The art is magnificently unique, it’s amazing Lloyd hasn’t been snatched by a publisher.
Lloyd’s art is hyper-stylized, which works best for the chaotic story being told, as any motion that’s showcased is effectively fluid.
When a character shows emotion the art portraying it matches said emotion perfectly, especially during the intense moments.
On top of great art, the panels are used in unique ways, making moments of characters talking look/feel fantastic. God-Puncher showcases how Lloyd isn’t afraid to play with panels, which works magnificently.
On the subject of panels; in recent years it seems comics want to use the famous nine-panel grid. But in most cases it feels off, or doesn’t meld well with the story. That’s far from the case here. Lloyd only uses it once, but between the dialogue, art, colors, and sound effects he uses it to great effect.
A fair bit of God-Puncher is void of color, relaying heavy on whites and dark ink. This makes it hit harder when the use of color comes into play, which complements the art, amplifying everything that transpires.
As the series is self-published, Lloyd is able to go all-out with ideas and it shows. No two characters look the same, nor do the cities.
In God-Puncher, the lettering goes all out. By playing around with size, colors, shape, and placement, Lloyd uses his artistic skills to the max.
Leaning on the cartoonish side, there are moments when the sound effects pop off the panel in a manner akin to 3D which work perfectly in the moment, or in more subtle ways like Syrem’s “Tick Tock,” Lending a great reveal that starts with the sound effects alone.
Memorable Quote: “So I can’t promise you wealth or fame...but if you all stop, you won’t have to embarrass yourselves. No one wants to get their assess handed to em’ by an old timer like me.” - Tim Finnly
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Adult Themes: There are some curse words throughout, nothing too bad, but it’s good to note if you’re not a fan of that.
Although Lloyd did some fantastic lettering (that we explained above) there are some moments of dialogue bubbles that are much too small to read. Luckily, you can zoom in, but it does kill pacing a tad.
The artwork and paneling are beyond great. But, it’s so unique that some readers might be turned off by it.
In the recap page of issue two, Reg is mislabeled as Rev. But hey, I sometimes call my friends (and loved ones) by the wrong name!
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
There is so much to love about God-Puncher. It’s something you’d never see in the mainstream comics, which bodes well as Lloyd can go all-out with his ideas. The fast-paced nature makes each issue a fast read, yet enjoyable, making you want to go back and reread it for the amazing panel work.
The comics industry is a hard one to break into, and indie comics may even be harder with how many are published now. But, if you’re looking for a unique indie read, God-Puncher is that.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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Or keep up with their Patreon for information about a printed version.
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