In football, when one season ends, a new one is always just a summer away. The creative team at RedRok Comics appears to have taken this notion to heart as they follow up their football inspired sci-fi series ‘Rok of the Reds’ with a brand new mini-series, Rok the God, which sees Rok juggle his now multiple identities as a super-powered alien and football superstar. Can Rok the God score again with this new story, or will this one be more of an own goal?
Publisher: RedRok Comics
Writer: John Wagner, Alan Grant
Artist: Dan Cornwell (Art), Abby Bulmer (Colours), Jim Campbell (Letters)
Price: Recently funded on Kickstarter
Rok the God continues the story of the titular Rok, who after forsaking his destiny as the Lord of his home planet in order to masquerade as a talented human football player and continue partaking in ‘the beautiful game’. However, his ideallic new life as Radford Reds top scorer and best player hits an unexpected obstacle when his Uncle Morg arrives to inform him that he must return to Arkady immediately because his mother is dying, leading to a big decision. Meanwhile, Kyle Dixon, the player Rok is impersonating, escapes his alien prison with the help of an also incarcerated referee as both discover they have very BIG problems when it comes to reclaiming their lives.
Wagner and Grant have produced a funny, intriguing and, ultimately, entertaining story with Rok the God as they pick up this football loving extra-terrestial’s story a few months after the cup final finale of the prior series. Wagner and Grant have developed a very witty, quintessentally British feeling tone for this story as it comes across as something between British staple 2000AD’s content and famous newspaper strip ‘Roy of the Rovers’. However, while these comparisons are diametrically opposite in their tone, Rok the God appears to find a nice middle ground as it reads rather earnestly and down to earth despite the over-the-top sci-fi aspects such as the Ankadian’s dialogue amongst each other as well as Kyle and Nigel’s bizarre predicament. This is a good first issue, although let down by the fact that first time readers to the series might feel disappointed at having missed the original run (although that can be found on Comichaus).
Meanwhile, the art team of Dan Cornwell and Abby Bulmer do a stand up job on this first issue as Cornwell offers up a solid pencilling style throughout which has some similarities to Valiant and the New Humanoid titles house styles in terms of its look. Bulmer’s colours, meanwhile are very toned down and work well to match the art to the earnest and down to earth vibe of the early pages. However, when the issue moves to more galactic locales and characters, the colours look a little dull and uninspiring in comparison as these sci-fi elements would expect colours with a little more punch.
All in all, Rok the God’s first issue is a enjoyable and highly entertaining opener which is a perfect continuation for its predecessor, while also being a tempting draw for new readers to check out the prior series. With a fun and witty story and some nice looking art, the RedRok team have certainly scored here and if the rest of the story follows on this vein then it is safe to say that, by the end, 3 points will be theirs.