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Comic Book / Gung Ho

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Gung-Ho is a post-apocalyptic Action/Horror comic released by Ablaze studios in Feburary 2020. It revolves around two teenagers; Zach and Archer Goodwoody, who live in a future earth devastated by the release of the White Plague — a pack-hunting species of white-furred carnivorous apes. Humanity survives by huddling in heavily fortified cities, towns and villages, linked primarily by armored and armed train routes. The Goodwoodys are orphans who have recently been exiled from their city in Europe due to Archer's constant misbehavior, being forced to relocate to Settlement #16, aka "Fort Apache", right in the heart of the Danger Zone. Now on the frontlines, it becomes a clash between the needs for survival and the Goodwoody's own sense of independence, with the survival of the settlement hanging in the balance.


The original run of Gung-Ho only ran for 7 issues. The series was then continued as Gung-Ho: Sexy Beast, which launched in January 2021.

Gung-Ho provides examples of:

  • After the End: The series is set "in the near future", after most of humanity has been wiped out by the White Plague.
  • An Axe to Grind: Zach kills a Driver in issue #3 by splitting its skull with an axe.
  • Anyone Can Die: Don't get too attached to anyone in this series.
  • Cool Old Guy:
    • Kingsten, the town mayor, is a Cool Old Lady, who tries to be fair and supportive whilst still not allowing her authority to be challenged. In particular, she does her best to oppose the corrupt behavior of Mr. Bagster.
    • Mr. Williams, the one-armed combat instructor.
    • Tanaka Hasegawa, a Japanese martial arts practitioner who used to be a film star before the apocalypse, and whose fighting skills are still so effective that he managed to escape alive from a White Plague attack that derailed a train, culminating in him killing a whole pack single-handedly. He and his daughter were the only survivors.
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  • Corporal Punishment: In issue #7, after Zach rashly drives his bike out into the wilderness beyond the compound, which causes the death of another teen who followed him, all of the teens even remotely involved are shackled to a log and flogged with wooden switches until their backs bleed. All the while, Kingsten lectures them on how this is being done for their own good.
    Kingsten: We understand your desire to be free and adventurous. The goal of our rules and punishments is not to bully you. But to protect you! Fort Apache is a jail. But is not the walls that are imprisoning. It is the animals outside of them. This White Plague is a wall of fangs, claws, and bloodthirsty beasts. You will soon be assigned weapons to defend yourselves and the community. But that comes with a huge sense of responsibility, which you all seem to be lacking. And because of that, your friend Renny Schweiger is dead. This beating is to remind you of your guilt in all this and make it so that you never forget or do it again. We're beating you because we need you. We're beating you because we love you. You are the future.
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  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: Mr. Bagster, the local magister and contact with the City. He's a venal authoritarian who steals from the supplies and uses his stolen goods to solicit sex from the local teenage girls, with at least one girl named Celine having been turned into a drug addict so he can leverage her addiction into sex. He's also a Manipulative Bastard; when Mr. Williams tries to force him to leave said drug-addicted teenager alone, he has his thugs throw the one-armed old man out into the street whilst he loudly accuses Williams of trying to solicit an extra share, turning the other residents against him. Making things worse, Mayor Kingsten knows he's corrupt, but her efforts to complain about it to the City have gone nowhere and resulted in subtle punishments for the attempts, so there's obviously somebody higher up the chain of authority protecting Bagster.
  • Forbidden Zone: The Danger Zone, which by inferral is where the White Plague dominates the landscape and humanity only survives in its fortified enclaves.
  • From Bad to Worse: Fort Apache's situation in Sexy Beast: the last train carrying vital supplies was derailed and robbed; the government's official response is that they cannot send either fresh supplies or a team to even remove the derailed train that's blocking the tracks; supplies, heavy weapons and ammo are all running low and forcing rationing; and there's fears of an approaching White Torrent, a massive swarm attack by the White Plague.
    • In Sexy Beast #1, the kids encounter Rippers on an island, which deeply unnerves the adults; normally, like all apes, the White Plague doesn't swim, so such an encounter means that the White Plague may be learning the ability to swim.
    • In Sexy Beast #2 Archer tries to get Fort Apache to do something about Bagster. But at the trial, Celine instead denies Archer's story and claims he's just accusing Bagster to cover up that Archer was the one raping Celine. This gets Archer exiled from Fort Apache.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Whilst Archer does have a problem with authority in general, he's not wrong when he judges Mr. Bagster on sight as a, quote, "corrupt son of a bitch".
  • Maniac Monkeys: The White Plague, as it's finally revealed in issue #3, is not a disease but instead of a species of white-furred, pack-hunting, carnivorous apes — something vaguely like a chimpanzee, with a dash of baboon. They come in different substrains, with the primary basis seeming to be size; child-sized Rippers, man-sized Drivers, and hulking Crushers. When multiple packs come together, they form what is called a White Torrent or White Flood, which is also when they muster the courage to attack villages.
  • Nepotism: When the kids are allowed to receive their first weapons in Sexy Beast #1, the kids with living parents pick first and the orphans pick last. Zack Goodwoody calls the adults outon this, especially since one of their kids gets automatic weaponry whilst he gets stuck with the Colt revolver and a sawn-off shotgun, both of which are highly risky weapons against the White Plague.
  • Never Be AA Hero: In Sexy Beast #2, Archer is outraged when he discovers Bagster has been sexually abusing the drug-addicted orphan girl Celine; he beats the Corrupt Bureacrat and then demands that Mayor Kingsten punish Bagster for his actions. But, at the trial, Celine proves loyal to her dealer and instead lies to the other members of Fort Apache, claiming that not only is Archer's story false, but Archer was the one raping her! For this combined with his theft of public stores, Archer is permanently exiled and driven off into the wilderness.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: A rather strange variant... in the first five issues of the series, there is never a singular name given the Maniac Monkeys. Distinct subtypes are given their own names - Rippers, Drivers and Crushers - but the closest thing to the apes being given a "generic" name is in issue #5, where "Ripper" is used more generically.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: The Goodwoodys were orphaned eight years before the start of the series; their parents fought their way across half of Europe to reach the city, only to be attacked by a horde of the White Plague just outside of the gate. The parents were killed before the guards managed to intervene, with only the brothers surviving. They grew up as orphans in a post-apocalyptic community, and that left them very vulnerable—especially once they began reaching puberty, which was when both when they were placed under higher expectations and they became increasingly resentful of their situation, something only fueled by teenage hormones.
  • Rugged Scar: Zach has a number of clawed scars, including three above and one below his left eye, from when he was attacked by the White Plague just outside the gates of the city when he was eight.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the first issue, as the Goodwoodys ride the train into Fort Apache, Archer plays his guitar and sings along to Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reaper".
    • The residents of Fort Apache each keep a white stake outside of their house, into which they drive red-painted nails to tally their White Plague kills; the more red nails in somebody's stake, the higher their status in the community. This is an homage to the Conan the Barbarian story, Red Nails.
    • When Tanaka Hasegawa takes over as the new combat instructor in issue #5, Archer makes the foolish decision to mockingly refer to him as "Mister Miyagi", from The Karate Kid.
  • The Slacker: Archer Goodwoody is a lazy goof-off who only cares about having fun and enjoying himself. He differs from the typical slacker in that he's also strongly anti-authoritarian, and it's implied that all of the problems the Goodwoodys suffer in fitting in is due to his misbehavior — such as when he takes off in the middle of guard duty to seduce a pretty girl, or steals from the supplies for his own benefit, or paints an obscene picture of one of the local authority figures. A partial shot of a letter in the first issue notes that he's been diagnosed with PTSD, which is suggested to be the root cause of his antics.
  • Spiritual Successor: To The Walking Dead, in its creators' own words.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In Sexy Beast #1, it's implied that the reason the government isn't willing to reinforce the desperate Fort Apache is because the resident Corrupt Bureaucrat doesn't take the mayor's belief in an approaching White Flood seriously, and so he failed to pass on that the settlement could be in major approaching danger.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Aside from the use of Maniac Monkeys instead of zombies, Gung-Ho is rooted deeply in this archetype and its related tropes.

Alternative Title(s): Gung Ho Sexy Beast


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