REVIEW: Killeroo GANGWARS #5

KILLEROO: GANGWARS #5

Story: RW Adams, Cameron Laird, Lucas Testro, Darren Close
Art: Dean Giles, RW Adams, Mike Foxall, Adam Rose, Paul Abstruse

Out of Ozone Studios comes another issue of creator Darren Close’s KILLEROO GANGWARS featuring everyone’s favourite ultra violent marsupial-humanoid Rufus as he deals with feuding Biker Gangs.

The first part of this segmented collection set in the Killeroo Universe titled DARKER NIGHTS (Written by Cameron Laird with Illustrations by Dean Giles) sees our long tailed Main Character forcibly sent on a wild drug fuelled nightmarish ride, after a pair of Bikie Members manage to capture him. Laird’s writing brings us along for the insane fun nicely as nothing that happens during the hallucinogenic trip makes any sense and nor should it. Giles’ art helps ram home just how fucked up Rufus is and we get a truly memorable scene involving a crocodile that really hit my sweet spot for horror.

Part two entitled OLD BILLY BEATTIE (Written and Illustrated by RW Adams) follows Old Billy on a spiritual recollection of his past. From early days hunting with his Father to times spent spilling blood in tent top boxing matches Adams gives us a good glimpse into the life of the old man as he struggled to find his place before the Outback Warriors gave it meaning. Adams delivers a nicely written short story and his art builds the scenes very fittingly, making this a enjoyable standalone piece.

Part three brings us the ultra violent tale of underestimation with DEAD ZONE (Written by Lucas Testro and Illustrated by Mike Foxall). Crazy Callum and his young Gang of Nomads ride into town looking to set up a home base at the town folks expense but writer Testro throws a curve ball at us in a violently entertaining way. The pacing of the story is fantastic and Foxall’s gritty artwork fits in perfectly. It is an ugly story and the character designs, scenery and most importantly; blood splattering deaths really go hand in hand.

The fourth part of this GANGWARS issue titled LOOSE ENDS (Written by Darren Close and Illustrated by Adam Rose) lives up to the book’s namesake as Colonel Jim and his Commandoes duke it out with Rufus and the Outback Warriors. Close certainly makes an impact with the story here that will no doubt change things up in the GANGWARS Universe as we see just how ruthless Rufus has become. The pacing is also good and the dialogue flows nicely between the two gangs during the shootout. Rose’s art fits the story really well and we get a particularly memorable panel involving a certain character engulfed in flames.

The final Part of this issue NO TURNING BACK (Written by RW Adams and Darren Close with Illustrations by Paul Abstruse) is not surprisingly the strongest segment of the lot. We see ‘The Killeroo’ in full force here as the Outback Warriors and the Redbacks go head to head in a splatter fest of a brawl that only one of the Gangs will walk away from. The writing by Close and Adams is fantastic as we get the question proposed in an earlier segment of just how ruthless has the Killeroo Rufus become answered in very cemented way. The narration helps the reader to understand and perhaps sympathise as to why things are finally playing out this way and I was able to put this issue aside after reading very satisfied, yet definitely wanting more.

The artwork by Abstruse is the best of the issue as he takes us right into the bloody battle with bone crunching panels and character designs, as well as giving a true emotional anger to our Main Character.

Overall KILLEROO GANGWARS #5 is a fun, action packed, violent thrill ride that surprisingly carries a lot of emotion within it’s segments. The art is strong across the book and Killeroo remains in my opinion one, if not the best designed, Australian Comic character.

I eagerly look forward to the final instalment of the Gang Wars mini series and to what Close and his team will bring.

About Clancy Ellis

Clancy Ellis
Clancy James Ellis is a Perth based fiction writer with a background in Journalism. He specialises in tales of Horror and the Macabre as well as the occasional dabble in the Drama genre. The Kimberley native enjoys painting and drawing in his spare time and is also a huge fan of comics and avid supporter of the Australian comic scene.

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