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Review: Gamma One-Shot

22970“Gotta catch ‘em all!” That’s the goal right? Catch all 150 of those self-absorbed, name-calling pocket monsters? At least that’s what I spent too many hours, days, weeks, and, well, years doing as a child of the 1990s. Frankly, Pokémon were the shit. (Of course I never would’ve said that word!) But what happens when you catch them all, when you’ve beat the Elite Four and become a League Champion after gaining all those trainer badges, and you’ve leveled all your Poke-friends up to level 100? First of all, I’d like to see someone get all 150 original Pokémon leveled up that high.

Ulises Farinas and Erik Freitas have at least one answer in the form of Dark Horse’s one-shot Gamma, and fans of young, naïve Ash Ketchum will get to see what fame and glory really does to a Pokémon master. This one-shot is a story about…not much, really, but despite that it promises to be one of the funniest books you’ll read this week, and probably one of the wittier comics you’ll read all year, especially since it draws on the nostalgia of 90s pop culture by showcasing brilliant mockeries of Pokémon, Power Rangers, the Kaiju craze that hit America in the form of games like Rampage, and there are even visual references to Godzilla, Legos, and Galactus, ultimately turning these into an army for fighting a commentary on the dangerous bio-ecological growth of the Pokémon population of late.

With both Farinas and Freitas on the story, Farinas is also the illustrator, doing all of the artistic manhandling of this joker’s tale. In the hands of anyone else, Gamma may have come off as ridiculous. I can see less-talented artists thinking that the satirical content should be hilariously juxtaposed by serious art work; they would be wrong, and this book would pass into obscurity as a sad piece of graphic art with a good story—the kind of embarrassment you forget despite its better qualities. Not with Farinas! He brings the same parodic wit from his writing into his art, utilizing a style that appears to draw heavily on the Adventure Time animation…but for a mature audience, boobs, booze and bar fights notwithstanding.

Farinas and Freitas’ Gamma one-shot is nothing less than a brilliant ode to my (and probably your) childhood, wrapped up in a messily light-hearted adult package. A laugh-your-ass-off bonanza with unique art and an oddball story. A must have, if just to experience its zany charm.

Story: Ulises Farinas and Erik Freitas  Art: Ulises Farinas
Story: 9  Art: 9  Overall: 9  Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review