By Dustin Cabeal
Armoured Science Kung-Fu Cats where’s its influences in its title. It is part TMNT, part Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and part cat internet videos. If you want ten seconds of joy, look up cats and cucumbers, no more than ten seconds, though, any longer, and you’ll question life choices you’ve made leading you to this point.
The story is an origin story which is told to us in the opening page credits. I’ll admit, that made me less annoyed by reading an origin story. I knew it would be one, but the fact that creator Tom Caffrey started by saying it, made the issue more palatable.
A cat’s little girl owner gets pinned under a tree that a drowsy driver hits. The driver’s life is completely disregarded after this event, and the cat focuses on saving the little girl. Another cat jumps in to stop him from transforming and the flag for “flashback” is raised.
The flashback is pretty rushed, but basically aliens crash, last hope, cats transformed, etc. They’re also told not to use the suits because another alien race will find them and come to their planet… but that they’ll make it there eventually so keep the suits handy. It’s a bit like the early days of Spawn in which MacFarlane put a meter on Spawn to keep him from being all powerful and then eventually just stopped reminding the audience because cash was rolling in.
It’s not the worst plot device; it’s just one that isn’t very effective because if they weren’t going to use the suits, we wouldn’t be reading the comic. They would just continue being cats, and this tragic event would just happen. That and since when do cats care about their owners? I could be bleeding to death in front of both of my cats, and they would likely step in my blood taste it, freak out and run around the house getting my blood everywhere. Inconsiderate jerks that they are. To me, it seems pointless to waste any of the story on a character saying “here’s some powers, but don’t use them because it’ll call trouble, but that trouble is coming either way.” If you told me that I would just say thanks for the powers, transform outside your door and bury you alive.
The pacing is rushed in some parts, too much time is spent in others, and there’s a weird bit in which the dialogue on one page is repeated on the other almost like we were coming back from a commercial break, but without the commercial. Even a fake ad would have made this work better, but it was just the same dialogue repeated on a different illustration.
The art is okay. It’s all in pencil with some pages having ink, other having color and finishes on it and overall an inconsistent look to the book. That and the pages that are primarily pencils end up looking unfinished and sadly amateurish. Which is a shame because the art itself is the best part.
As it stands, Armoured Science Kung-Fu Cats lacks a lot of polish, both from the story and the art especially if it’s going to leave its mark in the “things becoming things in groups of things” genre aka Power Rangers with cats that know Kung-Fu like Turtles. But hey, if you just love cats that might be enough of a reason for you to check it out.
Armoured Science Kung-Fu Cats #1
Creator: Tom Caffrey