With Captain Ahax, Taranto, the Iberzan clergy of Diothos, and the hidden away Groo and Rufferto on a ship set for Ahax’s newly discovered land, things are looking on track. Ahax and Taranto are going to get their gold, and the clergymen will have plenty of new people to convert. Things couldn’t possibly go wrong at all, right?
Confidence wains when the crew discover Groo aboard, but they maintain their course for the new land. Even without Groo, it looks like their plans may not have been that well put together, especially for the clergymen, whom are having trouble converting the natives.
Meanwhile, the gods continue their debate over how responsible Diothos is for his followers.
Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier have put together another highly entertaining story with this one. The hapless clergy and Ahax are fun enough to be likable, but just corrupt enough to be enjoyable when their selfish schemes are beaten by their lack of preparedness and the destructive path of Groo the Wanderer.
Funnily enough, Groo and Rufferto take a back seat in this comic, with Ahax, Saranto, and the clergy taking up the bulk of the panel space. Their promises of the new world aren’t turning out to be true, and they are having to find ways to finagle a win in this scenario.
The obvious parallels between this story and the real colonialism of European history do make add a bit to the fun. Obviously, this is a condensed version of events and a lot less brutal. However, there is a lot of fun being in on the joke and being able to predict that this will not go as Ahax and the clergy hope given our knowledge of real world history. Also, the previous issues satire of the current influx of refugees and the panic of certain…types of people juxtaposed with the comparisons to European colonialism points to some interesting points that may or may not totally point out a hypocrisy of the aforementioned certain types of people (run-on run-on run-on).
The art remains cartoonish, stylized, and fun. There is a two-page spread towards the middle showing the ship crew and the people of the new world all together that looks really good and clearly took a lot of time to put together. The effort was worthwhile, because it is a beautiful illustration. The colors are bright and striking, and it all comes together really well.
Groo: Play of the Gods continues to be another classic adventure of Groo the Wanderer brushing up against grand plans that he will most certainly mess up. This one definitely gets a recommendation; enjoy with a great bowl of cheese dip.
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