Writer: Charles Santino
Artists: Paulo Peres, Marco Perugini, Carlos Aon
Independently published, May 2021
Rammur is a futuristic action comic that revolves around the titular character, a tough, no-nonsense master thief that manages to be successful despite living in a future police state.
Readers who are coming in blind to Rammur #1 may get taken aback at first – as the comic’s artwork looks straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon. Bright and colorful with thick outlines. Rammur himself looks like an action figure (he bears a striking resemblance to Major Chip Hazard, a sentient toy from the 1998 film Small Soldiers). Yet the comic is about as mature as you can get without going overboard. It’s not ultraviolent, and it shows just the right amount of violence and blood to convey what is happening.
The structure of the issue is also a bit unexpected. Most mature comic books that revolve around an antihero usually have lengthy overarcing plots that try to cram as much complexity into the world being built. Rammur, on the other hand, relies on self-contained stories that can be enjoyed on their own, while still providing bits and pieces of information to build a world around the protagonist.
By the time the second story in the comic wraps up, readers will get a serviceable picture of Rammur’s world: a fictional future in which an authoritarian government runs everything, relying on robotic enforcers (dubbed “ruptors”) to keep the populace in check. This government, dubbed the “Global Freedom Authority”, is headed by someone (or something) called “Dominaytra,” who may or may not be a real person. In terms of action, Rammur excels. The protagonist does not have super powers, but he is very capable fighter and a weapons expert armed with a plethora of futuristic gadgets. And he puts all of his skills and weaponry to good use as he fights ruptors and fellow criminals alike.
If there is one complaint we have with the comic, it is that Rammur is too one-dimensional. There’s not a lot to know about him except for his skills and his temperament. It was a deliberate decision to wash characterisation out of the story, in that Rammur is meant to be a force of nature with a singular purpose in life. But in the first issue, a reader will be hard pressed to care about Rammur himself. Most of the enjoyment relies on the action being presented, and how Rammur reacts to the threats that are coming his way. Rammur was the subject of a successful Indiegogo campaign –https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rammur-1#/, in which the creative notes,
“Want tired, clichéd, elaborate “backstory” that just gums up the works? Again, you won’t find it in Rammur. You’ll be too caught up in what Rammur is doing now to care a whit about what he might have done in the distant past…. Origin story? You’ve got to be kidding! Zilch, zero, nada.”
It is still the first issue so we will reserve judgement on the underwhelming characterization. The self-contained stories work well as guilty pleasures, if a reader is out for stories about a tough-as-nails protagonist prevailing against unfair odds. It is also a bonus that all of the action is presented rather well in a clean art style that is really pleasant to look at. At the very least, we commend it for successfully deploying a violent adventure story with mature themes, but without relying heavily on gore, ultraviolence, and blatant sexuality.