The concluding issue to this bonkers book goes out in the same madcap style it launched. Gillen and the gang are clearly having fun at Otto Von Subertan expense, as well as the readers expectations too. The good Baron faces his accusers and faces boredom and mundanity face-to-face. Will he and the other Luodcrats survive this brush with mediocracy?
Kieron Gillen, Jim Rossignol and Jeff Stokely’s The Ludocrats #5 goes out as it came in; with a colourful, confetti filled bang of daftness, double-entendres and bombastic characters and situations.
Otto Von Subertan is on trial, but while there seems to be some kind of law to proceedings, there clearly isn’t any order, that’s for sure. This absurdist odyssey through the surreal landscape inhabited by these crazy characters is best read with an open mind. Allow the unfolding scenes simply to infuse you. Don’t overthink it, simply enjoy the spectacle as Otto – the thinking man’s Obelix, if played by Brian Blessed – has to endure this kangaroo court as we catch up with many a familiar face from previous issues. And, a reminder of the work put into this silly series by artist Jeff Stokely. The parade of various witnesses being called out the stand one-by-one over the course of a couple of pages are all so varied and individual, even if they all share the same opinion on Otto’s current situation. Guilty, as charged, it would seem.
Gillen, Rossignol and Stokely have conjured up a cartoon world in The Ludocrats where anything goes, and usually does. And so, narratively, anything can happen and the usual laws don’t apply. Which is why you will never in your wildest dreams see the curveball coming in this concluding issue. Their collective battle against homogenisation and mundanity seems to take a sharp turn for the worse and for one brief moment if would seem that the Ludocrats are done.
Once again, the gang have fun at the format’s expense, playing fast and loose with many of the technical conventions of comics even when presenting Gillen’s past works. Or should I say, especially as Gillen presents his previous comic books. Any pomposity is well and truly punctuated as the sheer uncontainable force of chaos and comedy – the good Baron himself – pays little heed to his environment, or the expected rules of behaviour too. If the battle was against boredom, Otto most definitely wins hands down!
An existential H R Puffinstuff meets Asterix and Obelix and from start to finish great, unashamed fun! And, out now from Image Comics.