Monday, August 22, 2011

'The Transmutation of Ike Garuda', Epic Comics, 1991

Epic Comics, an offshoot of marvel's 'Epic Illustrated' magazine, published a number of SF and fantasy-related series through the 80s and early 90s. Some of these comics were pretty good, while others were failed experiments. 'Ike Garuda' falls into the latter category.

Writer Elaine Lee takes the traditional private eye tale and places it in the far future, when interstellar travel is mediated via teleporation; the traveler submerges himself or herself in the hi-tech equivalent of a mud bath and wakes up light-years away in another mud bath somewhere else. 

Teleportation technology is owned and operated by the Tranzit Authority, a monopoly that gives the Authority tremendous political and economic power.

The plot starts off mildly coherent, and quickly becomes totally incoherent by the end of the first of the two issues. 

As best as I could make out, Ike is hired to track down a missing magnate, who may or may not be working on a forbidden technology that could permit independent teleportation, free of Authority control. It's not a bad plot device on which to craft a two-issue comic series, but author Lee tries to do too much with the available page length, and her narrative quickly collapses under its own weight.

James Sherman's artwork (below) features a clean, but cartoony, style that calls to mind many of the European strips that appeared in the mid-80s issues of Heavy Metal. There is of course plenty of nudity to get the attention of the Heavy Metal readership.

I can't recommend searching out and purchasing the original issues of 'Ike Garuda',  but grabbing the series from a file share source might be worth a try if you're into this type of SF comic.

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