Friday, November 14, 2014

MISC. MANGA, *Gold Digger: Edge Guard

Where the regular Gold Digger manga-styled comic book series has been Antarctic Press' biggest ongoing title, there have been several spinoff mini-series, one-shots, annuals, and other specials continuing saga with some of the main cast, but mostly the supporting and reoccurring characters. One of these was not actually released through AP but from a company spun off from them, Radio Comix. John Barrett, well known in the underground comics set for furry art, wrote and drew this story about the GD equivalent of Thundercats, but was also a sequal to a short story he did for one of the Gold Digger annuals.

Set in Earth's sister dimension known as Jade, the Edge Guard are a select group of defenders made up of heroes from each region stationed in the four corners of the realm. The northern Edge Guard is made entirely of werecats, their leader Onoli, their tech jockey Thropan, the womanizing Tirga, and the brother sister were-jaguars: Sheila and Gar. Sheila is different from other werecats as all her strength and endurance come from her human form which resembles a large amazon, and she secretly has a crush on Tirga. The team investigates the emergence of an opposing force called the Dark Edge Guard made up of fox spirits inhabiting humanoid hosts. What it actually is are some kitsune spirit orbs having been absorbed by an female vampire, and after harnessing them becomes all body-builder. With the help of the remaining kitsune and a brave halfling named Cleo, the Edge Guard topple the super-vampire, but Cleo is wounded during the fight, so Onoli uses his lycanthropy to save her by making her a were-lion. The second half deals with the repercussions of this fight, with the vampire, and a conspiracy within the fox spirit society.

All in all, Edge Guard is a good enough comic on its own, and is enjoyable without having to be too familiar with any of the other Gold Digger material prior to reading it. There are some really funny moments and nostalgic fanboy references in it, as well as exceptional artwork. It's not a full-on "furry" title, but it doesn't hurt if you appreciate that style of comic.

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