Ah-ha! I finally got a chance at catching up with Kordinar 25000. I found this story a couple of years ago and followed it for some time, stopping only because life happens. I’m delighted that Miau signed up, so here’s her…
This comic has time travel, which personally never fails to give me a headache, so water may help my neurons make sense of it. If you are unfamiliar with my sober reviews, they are more structured than my drunk ones, although less snarky (and burpy). Enjoy, but be aware, there’s a minor spoiler I simply could not avoid.
Dark, energetic, at times terrifying, Kordinar 25000 is an awesome sci-fi read, capitalizing on a unique B&W art style that often puts to shame webcomics full of pretty colors and devoid of any substantial content.
Author’s description of the comic
A perfect world turns into a crapsackery nightmare.
Alph studies at college to become a sports journalist. At least in theory. Actually it’s all about partying, games and general laziness. Not really a problem in this wonderful world on Kordinar…….
Four planets relatively close to one another are also very different from each other. Kordinar is paradise: democracy thrives, people party a lot and don’t work too hard (4 hours a day, I’d love that) and it looks like nobody is poor. Groolar, instead, is inhabited and run by bandits. Violence is rampant and the weak is at the mercy of bad guys. Finally, the twin planets: Walderon, where warmongering abounds (reminds me of Kemet-Ra) and the non-ruling class suffers poverty and abuse; and Coldaron, where life is very similar to Kordinar, with democracy, freedom and fun, but also the constant threat of Walderon’s weapons pointed at it. Alph, son to Kordinar’s president, lives a very happy life and dreams of becoming a sports journalist. He has friends and booze and everything he needs. But when a strange guy from the future reaches the four planets’ frontier, carrying a message of doom, carefree Alph will embark in a scary journey to stop the menace from Kobolt – who is said will annihilate all four planets. Will Alph succeed?
The comic has plenty of characters and has a choral vibe to it that makes me feel like I should cover a whole bunch of them. However, this would make the review infinite, so I’m going to select my favorite two.
Alph Colla Borsoi Weller
Our protagonist is a young dude into sports and having fun. Plus, he enjoys drinking, so he’s gotta be cool, right? I think so! What I really like about him is his evolution as a character: although he’s naive and light-hearted at the beginning, he matures into a more solid person as the story progresses without ever losing his positive attitude and good heart. In other words, he never becomes a dark character, even though the circumstances may very well call for it, and this evolution is executed masterfully. There’s a fine line to walk when making a character like this grow into adulthood: each negative event (especially his best friend’s death, his father’s near assassination, treason and the very concrete chance of losing his planet to chaos or worse) pushes him a little more toward anger, sadness and desperation. Miau turns his traumas into lessons learned to become stronger in his resolve to protect his planet, and she does so progressively, smoothly and believably. On top of it all, Alph is never represented as the guy who will save the day: although he’s athletic, he’s clearly not a warrior and he runs away or hides when it’s smart to do so. I just can’t imagine him trying to fight Kobolt – yet, he marches on, and I bet he will find a smart way to destroy her. All of this is truly well done and I enjoyed it very much.
Something really funny about this comic is that characters with long names, like Alph, are often called their full names, making it for a comedic relief that works, because the joke is not overused. This makes Alph even more charming, especially when his teacher scolds him for making a horror video with improbable monsters.
Karla Anvil (Kobolt)
The scariest villain you could ever think of, Karla/Kobolt (sorry, this is the minor spoiler I mentioned above) holds the title of Great Leader of Groolar and strikes fear in the hearts of anybody who sees her. The coolest aspect of this character is that her frightening personality emerges slowly and it’s shown more by the effects of her deeds than by seeing her in action. We can feel the worry and then the utter horror and dread grow in Kordinar as she invades it. She speaks very few words and acts very seldom, but when she does, it’s terrifically terrifying. Even when she’s not around, we can feel her mighty presence weigh in on everyone’s life. This is the most puzzling character of the comic, because her motives are not completely clear. She is clearly a criminal, violent invader who sadistically kills people slowly, but is she just loving being horrible? Is she really a cannibal? Does she have a different aspect, is she some kind of a monster, maybe from yet another planet? Plenty of questions that I am hoping to see answered.
Plot, dialog and pacing
If I were to describe this comic in a few simple words, “chorality” would be one of the first to come to mind (followed by “irony”). Alph is certainly the protagonist, but there are many characters going in and out of the story, most of the time moving as a group, and the background is often full of people. All of this makes for a rather crowded and believable world-building. Kordinar 25000 graces us with a great pacing: fast, yet never hurried, any 10 pages of this comic cover plenty of events. Miau clearly knows exactly what her story is and how to tell it, wasting no time pushing through a breathless series of happenings that will make fans of quick-paced comics truly happy. The plot is linear and easy to follow and guess what? Time travel actually makes sense and there are no attempts at any of those convoluted tricks to mesmerize (rather, confuse) readers that other stories are so in love with.
Dialog is fun and upbeat, at times layered on individual panels, suggesting lots is going on both in the foreground and in the background. This is well-balanced and it provides for even more chorality.
This is not pretty art for the masses: black-and-white, highly detailed, full of irony, horror-inclined, and it’s got plenty of large, strong women (which makes my heart sing). Facial expressions are very pronounced without looking grotesque and bodies are distorted with noodle limbs that add rather comical results. My only qualm is that some body types and hairdos are repeated a little too often, making it hard to tell characters apart from one another.
Technology is rather unique: it’s mostly dominated by very simple geometrical shapes. Spaceships seem to originate directly from videogames from the late ’70s, often cluttering the sky. There are also some quirky perks, such as plain, huge bed pillows in place of comfortable chairs and small robots seemingly hammering at wounded parts of the body to speed up healing. Pretty cool stuff!
A great sci-fi romp, Kordinar 25000 should be read by anyone in love with good time travel stories, fast-paced chases and some horror to boot. I was very happy to check back on this comic, can’t wait to see how it goes, and I am giving it my seal of approval!
© 2017, Infected Blood Comics