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GWAR: Orgasmageddon #1 Lives Up to the Band's Gory, Bonkers Reputation

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<i>GWAR: Orgasmageddon</i> #1 Lives Up to the Band's Gory, Bonkers Reputation

Writers: Matt Miner & GWAR’s Matt Maguire
Artists: Jonathan Brandon Sawyer, GWAR’s Matt Maguire, GWAR’s Bob Gorman, Scott Wygmans
Colorists: Marissa Louise, Doug Garbark, Hank Jones, John Bailey
Letterer/Designer: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: June 7, 2017

STL047237.jpeg Chances are, if you’re at all tempted to pick up a comic book about splatter-metal band GWAR—known for drenching their audiences in fake blood and other, ahem, fluids—you aren’t expecting a sensitive comic about feelings and relationships. Indeed, GWAR: Orgasmageddon is not a sensitive comic about feelings and relationships, thank the gods. GWAR: Orgasmageddon is an absurd, childish, ridiculous and surprisingly smart comic that’s either going to make you applaud or vomit (or both).

If ever a band were destined to star in a comic, it would be GWAR, whose music and shows—dating back to 1984—have involved a complex sci-fi mythology that’s equal parts icky and interstellar. The comic’s main story (written by Matt Miner and GWAR member Matt Maguire and illustrated by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer and Maguire) begins with a creation myth that makes as much sense as any other: “Eons ago, the aliens from the planet Scumdogia named GWAR were banished by the master to an insignificant planet called Earth. They had sex with apes and thus created humans.” Explains a lot, actually.

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GWAR: Orgasmageddon #1 Interior Art by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer & Marissa Louise

The plot involves many baddies and much violence, including Sawborg Destructo attempting to bring GWAR back to Scumdogia. A more worthy foe is Mr. Perfect, an “absolute tool” who murdered former lead singer Oderus Urungus—a plot point that brings a slice of seriousness to the comic as Oderus’ real-life counterpart Dave Brockie died in 2014. Incorporating Brockie’s death into this comic gives it additional weight. Not too much weight, mind you: there’s also time travel, a dinosaur, a character named Slymenstra Hymen and dozens of exploding or severed heads. Sawyer’s art has a splatter quotient that would make Invincible artist Ryan Ottley proud, and captures the same bonkers energy as God Hates Astronauts auteur Ryan Browne.

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GWAR: Orgasmageddon #1 Interior Art by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer & Marissa Louise

Licensed comics can be terrible, but this one rises above average, and some aspects are reminiscent of works from legendary creators. Character names like Sleazy P. Martini and Sawborg Destructo could have fit right into Jack Kirby’s Fourth World. Are they any more implausible than Funky Flashman and Scott Free? And is the Meat Rocket any nuttier than the Boom Tube?

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GWAR: Orgasmageddon #1 Interior Art by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer & Marissa Louise

This is an intentionally stupid comic, but it’s stupid in a smart way, much like Ottley’s Grizzly Shark and new Image series Shirtless Bearfighter. Sometimes it’s even smart in a smart way—it even references the Bechdel test.

It also features two back-up stories, giving readers more mayhem for their money. Only in the world of GWAR could the words “slave” and “follies” go together. If you have any liking for heavy metal, toilet humor, senseless bloodshed and/or barbarians from space, you should give this comic a try. GWAR decapitated Donald Trump long before Kathy Griffin hefted a bloody fake head, and they fit into a comic book like a steel brassiere fits Slymenstra Hymen.

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GWAR: Orgasmageddon #1 Interior Art by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer & Marissa Louise

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GWAR: Orgasmageddon #1 Interior Art by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer & Marissa Louise

Mark Peters is the author of Bullshit: A Lexicon. Follow him on Twitter.

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