Battle Cats is a little LOTR, a little anime inspired, but ultimately not original or interesting enough to stand out in a crowded comic book market. If you’re not down with anthropomorphic animals, then you’re definitely not going to enjoy Battle Cats. The premise is fairly easy to sum up. A group of warriors have been sent on an impossible task to stop an evil before it eclipses the entire world. The odds are stacked against them and it might be a screw job. The story is sadly pretty typical with its set up as our character’s sit around their camp site and talk and through exposition we learn about them and their personalities. They’re all pretty much stereotypes, the silent and strong type, the experienced leader and the mouthy small guy. There are two female characters as well, one is fiery and fierce, while the other one is caring.
There’s plenty of action, but it’s typical of this type of story. Heroes with swords, arrows and magic fighting eternal darkness. It’s so generic that I really could be describing anything and therein lies the problem with the story. Just because they’re cats or cat-like creatures, doesn’t make it new and different.
The art was okay. Some of the designs were good, others seemed inconsistent with the rest of the team. The mouthy guy looked like Crash Bandicoot and the fiery female warrior’s design looked more like a house cat than the rest of the team. The actual layouts and execution of the story was quite good. The coloring was easily the best part and really added a lot of depth to the art that would otherwise not be there.
I’m keeping this review fairly short because I don’t feel the need to bash the book over and over. The truth is, there’s an audience for this comic. It’s not actually bad, it’s just not original enough for me to say that it’s good. The influences and the formula it’s using are well-worn, making it dull for someone so familiar. But I can definitely see a kid that’s enjoyed anime and hasn’t gotten into the fantasy genre much, really enjoying it. At the end of the day, that wins out over my deep library of comic reading. My hope though, is that the second issue will at least begin the journey of finding its own voice and offer something new to the genre.
Battle Cats #1 Writers: Mark London, Carl Bevan Artist: Andy King Colorist: Alejandro Giraldo Publisher: Mad Cave Studios Website