Writer/Artist: Mike Norton
Colorist: Allen Passalaqua
Song: Battle by Gang Starr
You know, every now again I get burned out by stories about heroes with capes. It seems there’s an over-saturation of publishers putting out universe-wide, large-scale, extinction-level events. Literally. Ever. Year. I’m not saying they’re all bad. I’m not saying they’re all good either. What I am saying is that sometimes, it tends to be too much. And what I am also saying is that there is just so much information that goes with these events that sometimes it’s also overwhelming, as well as intimidating, for new readers. Long gone are the days where you could just pick up a random comic you had no prior knowledge of and just ride along as a story continues without having to be forcefully bombarded with immense backstory on the setting, characters, etc. But sit back, friend and allow me to tell you a little bit about this gem I found (thanks to my Comic Lounge buds) called Battlepug.
Prior to my reading of the first issue of Image Comics’ Battlepug, I had no idea this even existed. I had no idea that Mike Norton had infiltrated the digital comic world and won himself an Eisner Award. I had no idea that Battlepug was already a cult phenomenon. I had no idea that Battlepug’s actual name was Sir Sprinkles Goodsniffer von Wigglebottom. I had no idea how much I wanted characters and a story like this: a story of revenge. A story of protecting those you love. A story of a nameless warrior mounted on a giant pug, vanquishing his enemies in a fairytale land filled with the exact opposite personas you'd expect from your average Happily Ever After kind of world. Honestly, I just wanted to read something fun.
In issue 5, we find ourselves at the conclusion of The War on Christmas. The Queen of the Northland Elves managed to trick the original owner of Battlepug into giving her the key to an otherworldly portal and summons an immense monster. The Last Kinmundian and his friends find themselves locked in a final battle where every one of our heroes exhibit their extraordinary powers in order to stop the Northland Queen and close the gate, but not without it’s consequences. There’s no denying that this story is linear, but the beauty of this Battlepug story is the execution (pun intended). It’s absolutely ridiculous and, like I said previously, it’s just plain fun. The open-ended finale of this story arc was fulfilling, but also sets up an even more ridiculous story arc to come, where just about anything can happen.
Needless to say, I loved this whole series. I can’t wait to see where it goes and in a matter of 5 issues, it’s not hard to see why it’s such a fan favorite. The characters are eccentric and lovable, the story is exciting, the script is hilarious, the violence is visceral, and let’s be real, who doesn’t want a giant pug of their own? I strongly urge those of you who are tired of the endless crises and all the multi-issued wars that both big publishers seem to push every few months to read this series.
And for those of you who tagged along for this adventure, but haven’t read the original Battlepug story, Mike Norton has a website (www.battlepug.com) where you can read it at your leaisue, as well as buy the merch.