The Puppet, The Bear, And The Northland Quest: Battlepug #1 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

The Last Kinmundian, Moll, Mingo, Colfax, and Battlepug come upon a village ruled by a massive man and his insane puppet. The Kinmundian and Battlepug overthrow the village governor, and they receive a summons from Bryony. She and Sasha inform the Last Kinmundian that the man who once enslaved him, the King of the Northland Elves, is still alive and sent a message challenging the Last Kinmundian to battle him once again. The Kinmundian can’t help but answer the challenge.

Battlepug #1 cover by Allen Passalaqua
Battlepug #1 cover by Allen Passalaqua

Battlepug #1 is the return of Mike Norton’s legendary giant-pug series with a new volume. The King of the Northland Elves (Santa Claus) wants another chance at killing the Kinmundian. 

I’ve not read the prior Battlepug material, so this one was a completely new experience for me. As a first impression, it was a mixed bag.

The humor came and went. It’s cute whenever it focuses on the Pugs, and Bryony is quite entertaining as a character. Inversely, there is an extended Trump joke that is so on the nose that I physically cringed.

The Last Kinmundian himself is a parody of Conan the Barbarian, and the comic walks a frequent line between serious and comedy. That makes it a little hard to get too invested in the drama of him fighting Santa Claus.

Battlepug #1 art by Allen Passalaqua and letterer Crank!
Battlepug #1 art by Allen Passalaqua and letterer Crank!

Allen Passalaqua’s artwork is solid, and he makes the Battlepug just the right mixture of adorable and doofy. The battle scenes are quite good too. The detailing on the faces leaves a little to be desired, but it gels most of the time. The color work is good as well. Passalaqua knows how to spice up the visuals with an injection of color when it’s needed.

Battlepug #1 was a bit of a mediocre experience for me. The story isn’t especially interesting, it doesn’t balance its parody and sincerity very well, and the humor is very hit or miss. If you’ve enjoyed past Battlepug stories, I’d imagine you’d like this one as well. Otherwise, I can only give it a soft recommendation, as it does still have some redeeming qualities–and the Battlepug himself is damn adorable.

Battlepug #1 comes to us from writers Mike Norton and Shawn Pryor, artists Allen Passalaqua and Craig Cermak, color artist Allen Passalaqua, letterer Crank!, and cover artist Allen Passalaqua.

Final Score: 5.5/10

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