Dusty Keztchemal is a pathetic coward. He failed the entire planet, and now, the only way he can make a living is by getting punched in the face for money. But when a beautiful stranger wanders into his saloon looking for help, Dusty thinks he can conjure up the man he once was-the greatest monster trainer in the world!
Not everyone needs to know why things happen…the root of chaos is sometimes the last thing we need to read. We are always more than happy to gorge ourselves on the innocence caught up in the carnage. Case and point, when we catch up with Dusty, he’s already down and out seated at the bar he sits at everyday, waiting for someone to pay the bartender for the opportunity to punch him in the face. It’s his penance, but he’s cashing in on it. But what does it take to get back on your feet knowing your very existence caused the destruction of the world as we know it. It takes a woman who rushes into the bar fleeing her husband whose hit her one too many times.
The story takes on a more adult version of Pokemon from here on out. Example, we learn about Dusty’s ability to control these monsters that he summons from a tiny box…sound familiar. He’s called upon by this damsel in distress to fight her abusive husband who is also a monster trainer…I think you know where this is headed. We find out quickly how ill equipped Dusty’s critters really are when they are massacred by the woman’s husband’s legion of uglies. The story goes from that defeat to a flashback twenty years before all this, when Dusty was at the top of his game.
It just get’s worse and worse when he’s called upon again to defend the world against a marauding horde. This should’ve been his chance to redeem himself, but he bails and get’s his best Pokemon…I mean monster, killed in the process. At this point in the story, I wasn’t sure redemption was going to come for Dusty, but it does. It’s not in the shape of a flaming sword, but a sort of inner peace that requires no words. Knowing what’s important seems to light a fire within Dusty, but ultimately we never really figure out what inspires him to pick himself up by the boot straps, it’s just assumed.
GAMMA works well as a strange glimpse into the minds of the writers and artists. It’s Ghost World meets Pokemon. For what it’s worth, the book is hipster and will definitely sell copies at Urban Outfitter, but will the mainstream comic buff dig it? I don’t know.
All in all, the plot of GAMMA was sustainable, but I think I enjoyed Ulises Farinas wonderful art much better.