Bucky O’Hare #1 – Reviews of Old Comics
Needing an independent comic to review, I found inspiration in Boss Fight Studio’s line of Bucky O’Hare figures. I have absolutely no background in reading these comics, although I remember them being advertised and perhaps even seeing them on a spinner rack, however, this period saw me getting most of my comics from a comics shop, since this was a period that my hometown had a comics shop for the first and last time. I was waiting tables at the time, and would go from work to the comic shop and spend most of my tips. Having the advantage of being able to buy anything for my collection that I could afford, I usually ended up buying back issues and foregoing going to the convenience store that I bought comics at in high school, or the B. Dalton where I discovered so many new comics around the time I reached adulthood. Those circumstances make it completely possible that I never saw this book on the newsstand.
writer: Larry Hama
artist: Michael Golden
color design: Cory Adams
In “a seedy section of the universe,” A squadron of Toad Fighters is in hot pursuit of the S.P.A.C.E. frigate Righteous Indignation. Their only escape, according to Captain Bucky O’Hare’s first mate Jenny is by jumping to hyper-space. His gunner, Dead-eye Duck is disappointed since he wanted to blow up some toads. However, Android First Class Blinky informs Bucky that the hyperdrive is inoperable. The chief engineer, Bruce the Betelgeusean Berzerker Babboon is trying to repair it.
One of the Toad Fighters scores a direct hit on the Righteous Indignation’s engineering section. Dead-eye Duck buys the crew some time with his maser cannons (microwaves, not light), but Blinky informs Bucky that Bruce was disintegrated by the blast causing feedback in the hyperdrive. bucky climbs down to engineering, past Dead-eye’s turret, where he has blown up one Toad Fighter that strayed into his sights. Blinky has gotten the hyperdrive minimally repaired, but warns Bucky of the effect of activating it damaged.
On Earth, in San Fransisco, a young boy named Willy is telling his parents about wanting to work on his science fair project instead of going with them to protest an nuclear demonstration. He wants the first prize of time on a computer mainframe. He laments to them how he feels ostracized for being smart, having parents that aren’t divorced and uninterested in their environmentalist lifestyle. As they go off to their protest, Willy is sent to his room, to his relief.
Back in space, Bucky shifts the hyperdrive on just as Willy turns on his science fair project, which is of almost identical design.
The story is straight-forward and written on the level of a children’s cartoon, which is appropriate. Every character is introduced in a natural way and the premise that these are two separate realities, and Willy’s reality is similar to, if not identical, to our own. The Toad Fighters have a clear-cut goal which seems rooted in a culture that is antagonistic towards mammals, almost to the point of being analogous to racism. Of course, that is from my perspective of not knowing anything about Bucky O’Hare. Pardon me for a second while I do some quick research…
Yeah, apparently, I’m reading too much into it. This is just a case of a race going to war at the direction of a tyrannical ruler. Larry Hama is one of those writers that can take a simple premise, like the one that exists with most toy lines or children’s cartoons and craft something that someone like me can read more into. Willy’s point of view is wonderfully understandable and seems relatable especially to readers that grew up feeling alienated from their peers and misunderstood by their parents. It’s a story that while simple, has elements that make it so relatable.
I cannot say enough good things about Michael Golden’s artwork. It’s so rich in it’s detail and adapts itself so well to making characters based on a “funny animal” aesthetic seem tangible, and a believable transition to Willy crossing over into the world of Bucky O’Hare. He exaggerates anatomy a little, but just enough to make that bridge. He takes designs made for animation and toys and makes them real. The Righteous Indignation is a modestly sized ship, and this allows Golden to illustrate the characters, even from outside of it. The only character that gets lost a little is Jenny, whose white fur doesn’t get separated well with her silver uniform. The only problem I have with the art is the repetition of Bucky’s head on pages four and five. I won’t even guess what happened to cause this duplication. Overall though, the artwork is astounding.
Notes: This issue is out of print, but may be available through comic shops, and will run a few dollars. Subsequent issues will cost about two to three times more. If you want to enjoy Michael Golden’s fantastic artwork in all it’s glory, Boss Fight Studio does have a black and white collection available in digest format.
Final Rating: 7.5 (out of 10)