Cats don’t play well together. That’s just how it is, so imagine a whole space ship full of ’em, evolved and now the dominant species on Earth. And space. Captain Ginger #1 sees our eponymous hero navigate the stars and the crew of his ship as they venture across the universe only to be met with a mysterious alien presence, the Lumen, who claim to have wiped out humanity and are now ready to wipe out Captain Ginger and his crew too.
Writer Stuart Moore and artist June Brigman – both cat lovers – introduce us to the whole feline team on board the starship, Hiss-Bite-Claw-Sometimes-Fall, and it’s as much a battle to keep these individuals in line, given they are cats, as it is taking on the Lumen. The ship itself has seen better times, with the cats having evolved physically and mentally, but not necessarily in the essential areas they could. It seems that, like in the original The Planet of The Apes novel, they have inherited the Earth, but can’t move it on any further than the humans had. They can make use of the technology but can’t improve on it. They are also prone to their DNA too. Rats are toast, a litter of kittens is no excuse to shirk one’s duties, and then there’s their built-in anti-social tendencies to deal with too. They may have made Ginger their captain, but that doesn’t mean to say the status quo will remain unchallenged. This ain’t Star Trek, and he ain’t Captain Kirk.
It’s an oversized first issue allowing Moore and Brigman the opportunity to not only ramp up the danger and intrigue but to deftly introduce the rather large cast of characters that make up the crew of the Hiss-Bite-Claw-Sometimes-Fall. Relationships are established and it’s nowhere near the funny animal comic some might imagine this to be. In fact, as well as being a ripping sci-fi yarn, it’s also a well observed story too, with their worse traits used in the comic to create conflict – and resolution – amongst them. Hell, there’s even time for the whole ship to take a cat-nap. Well, until another adventure threatens to rear its head at the end of this first promising issue.
Add into the mix back-up material relevant to the comic (a prose communique from Science Cat, a member of the crew) and another Grant Morrison (illustrated by Phil Hester) penned story and throw in a couple of interviews with the comic’s creators, and once again you have a hefty book for less than four dollars (¢3.99 to be exact). That’s some bang for your buck.
It’s a sci-fi story first, make no mistakes, but with so many strong characters onboard, I look forward to the catfights, comedy and – wait for it – catastrophes to come too. A surprisingly good read considering what I, and I dare say others, had expected. More Planet of The Apes than Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew. And by realising only four initial titles, AHOY Comics seem to be sailing in the right direction with both their quantity (slow and steady wins the race) and quality.
Captain Ginger #1 is available now from AHOY Comics.