Gamekeeper Vol 1 (issues 1-5) Comic Review

Who’s it by?

Andy Diggle, Mukesh Singh, Guy Ritchie

What’s it about?

The man known only as Brock lives a quiet existence as gamekeeper on a secluded Scottish estate. The tranquillity is disrupted when Russian paramilitary mercenaries storm the estate and kill Jonah Morgan -— Brock’s friend and owner of the estate. To avenge Jonah’s death and protect a secret equation, Brock must turn predator and journey deep into an unfamiliar, urban underworld.

Review it:

I have to admit when I received my review copy of The Gamekeeper it sat on my shelf for a while before I looked at it. It wasn’t the art, the cover was great as was the interior art. I’m shamed to say the reason was the phrase ‘Guy Ritchie’s GameKeeper’. The phrase conjured up images of Vinnie Jones repeatedly smacking a car door against someone’s head and east end wide boys calling each other ‘muppet’ or ‘geezer’. Now don’t get me wrong I loved Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (not sure about his other movies) but that’s not what I’m after in my comics. After reading Gamekeeper I couldn’t have been more wrong. The only thing this comic has common with Guy’s movies is that a couple of people do get called muppet (ah muppet…you just can’t beat that word).

This book comes across a kind of cross between the first and last Rambo movies, especially the first half of the book. It’s gritty, tense, extremely violent and I bloody loved it.

The dialogue is cracking, even though the main character, Brock, is a man of few words when he speaks you damn well better listen. The shaven headed brooding Gamekeeper, Brock looks like a bad ass which the art conveys especially well in the action scenes. Aside from the violence this is also a character study on a man trying to forget the sins of the past only to find those sins coming full circle on him.

This comic is violent, very violent. This isn’t A Team style comedy violence. This is getting kicked in the face until you choke on your own blood violent. Brock dispatches his enemies in the most horrific ways he can find and yet it doesn’t feel gratuitous. To me it felt like Brock was grabbing me by the scruff of my neck and dragging me into his brutal and blood soaked world. In Brock’s world there are no half measures, no compromises, and no second chances.

I pretty much saw all the twists and turns coming but it was put together in such a solid, edge of the seat, manner that I was too busy rooting for Brock to care.

The art as I said before was awesome and had I kinda of painted look to the panels. I thought this came across particularly well in the flashback scenes. I

Angy Diggle who worked on Gamekeeper with Guy also wrote the Green Arrow Year one mini series which I loved. You can definitely see his influences in both comics. If you liked Green Arrow year one I would say this is worth getting hold of.

It’s weird sitting down to write this review knowing that Virgin Comics are hairbreath from going out of business. I think it’s a real shame as I was loving the majority of titles they were putting out (no Jenna Jameson ‘Shadow Hunter’ was not one of them). I hope they’re able to pull through this and are still putting out out a few of their titles for us VC fans. I hope The Gamekeeper is one of the titles that survives. I also hope and pray that if they decide to make a Gamekeeper movie that Mrs Ritchie stays as far away from this as possible.

Rate it: 4 (some of the plot was a bit predictable hence just missing out on the full marks)

Dry Slaps: 0

Reviewer: The Nuge

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