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Rok is back! Rok the God

It is commonly know how much I loved Rok of the Reds; mainly because at any given opportunity I tell everyone. You can read my review of it here. I was also very enthusiastic about the first chapter of its sequel Rok the God, which was released as a teaser for the Kickstarter campaign. You can read that review here. Well now the whole thing is complete and I have taken my time to get my thoughts down because I wanted to write a review to do it justice.

So, as an instant reaction to Rok the God. I Bloomin’ loved it! The mad as a weasel that’s had its gin stolen story, flows with such joy I challenge anyone not to smile while reading it. It has all the intergalactic shenanigans you want from an alien story, action-packed football matches for the sports story, a boo-hiss bad guy and some utter quality boys own adventure with the shrunken ne’er-do-wells who are on the run and trying to figure out what is going on.

The humour bounces off the page with a script from John Wagner and Alan Grant that feels original and yet has the familiar touches that allow you to settle into the world without trying too hard. The characters are strong and in the case of the nefarious Malcolm Greidy, a not too subtle satire of a certain money-grabbing American businessman who owns another football club that also plays in red, is wickedly realised.

For me, all the elements work. I read one review that didn’t like all the space opera bits as much. For me, these were the roots of the Wagner/Grant partnership at 2000AD. The shrunken Kyle Dixon and Ref Nigel Bull have all the elements of the great 1950s B movies, and the football set-pieces (yes I did) channel all the drama of a classic Roy of the Rovers.

However, the script and story are only half of what makes this such a great comic (my maths will be brought in to question later in the review). Dan Cornwell, the artist who realised the big red fella has yet again produced some of the finest art you are going to find in the pages of a comic book anywhere on the planet. His detailing, movements, recreations of both alien worlds and actual Earthly locations are jaw-dropping. The likenesses he produces for the stadiums, and some of the characters (both myself and my son appear in the book; it was a Kickstarter thing) are truly fantastic. Dan’s visual style allows the script to come to life with passion. There is not a single pencil line on the page wasted. Every stroke adds to the overall detail that pulls you into the frame giving you the ability to live the scene, not just read it.

We may already be at 100% of why this is good, but there is more. The colouring from Abby Bulmer and Jim Boswell is strong and has a consistency that lifts the images when required and produces dark moods just at the right time. I’ve mentioned Jim Campbell’s lettering before. I think he is a genius in this field. It’s not just about putting the words in a bubble, it’s about creating flow and making it easy for the reader to understand where to go next. This is all done to the same high level as every other part of the comic-book.

To sum up. Rok the God is, as I have said before “sharp, funny and just nuts” but now it is complete, you get to fully understand how incredibly sharp, how utterly funny and just how out of this world nuts it is. The Rok comics give me the exciting feeling I had reading 2000AD and Scream comics back in the day (which is the late 70s, through the 80s for those of you asking). Thank you team Rok for making me feel like a kid again without me having to go through a crisis and buy a motorbike.

You can order your copy of Rok the God here