|This webcomic has had a reboot since this review was written. It may be the case that the creator has used this opportunity to improve the webcomic to the extent that this review may no longer apply. But probably not.|
|Original review author:||ARS2000 (with help from a few others)|
|Webcomic name:||GunGear Tapas reddit Artstation tumblr itch.io wait what|
|Author:||CatzK3 (formerly Killcube)|
|Start Date:||2008-9 (as sketches, actual comic, not sure)|
|Genre||Military, scifi, furry|
|Defining Flaw:||EVERYTHING. This is not a joke. Also, despite what the Rebooted tag says, this comic was rebooted like 2 more times in the past rather than after the review was written.|
Personally for me, I ended up getting involved in this webcomic back in early 2018, perhaps March or April. I received a comment (the nature of which I'm not even sure now if that was genuine or snarky due to how hard to read it was) from the author on one of my things, and I checked the guy out. At first, back then, I wasn't as good an artist and I was pretty new to around DeviantArt and stuff. I was offered to be let into his Discord by him, and I was like "Why not."
Admittedly, I did have some good times in there. I learnt quite a lot of stuff and what really goes on around the internet (This may sound hard to believe for some of you but that was the time I discovered any expanded universes for franchises whose movies I had seen existed, or of the big meltdown of US media that was in progress since 2013). I learnt better at being an artist and more. But frankly, as time passed, then the cracks came to me as I got better at art, and grew more used to it all, that I started realizing things aren't as nice as they seem. They started spiraling, and I was there to see some of it, until I eventually left in about early 2021.
It took one of the fellows helping me write this review to leave and then observe from an outsider's standpoint just how fucked up everything actually was. And good lord, it was so bad when he put it out in that form I realized I had to put the information out here on BWW (which I found thanks to another pal.)
Let me be honest. If there was a high point for this comic, I was probably not there. I don't think I saw that myself. The beginning of the current comic (Which itself is the third reboot right now) I thought is better and coherent than just about the rest of it. I thought the beginnings and earlier stuff in 2013-15 was some of his far better stuff than the stuff later and later stuff. The comic overall I would say probably didn't have much of a high point.
Story and Plot
It starts off like all great comics; with exposition of course! Apparently in the GrimDark future of the 39th Century, mankind has fucked over the Earth with several(or one?) nuclear wars, and through means unknown, Furries just… Become a thing because Evo Crystal go Brrr. As a result, humans develop the Novi; sharp penised/toothed-vagina synthetic…organic robot(??) beings to defend them from the Furry Menace. Apparently the Furries picked up a book on Marx somewhere along the way, and the ones in Asia formed a Communist furrystate (ORB)..... although no one knows what kind of Communism they practice. Just Communism. America is now run by mega corporations, and the military is now fully privatized (STAR)...for some reason? Africa (SPEAR) is somehow united into giant South Africa. And despite being touted as having the strongest economy, looks more like Zimbabwe. Their military is highly outdated, and they still use conscription because reasons. Our story follows the…. Shenanigans of Colonel (despite being called commander all the time) Alice Eichelberger, from CROSS, AKA the Human Ethnostate that are the incredibly unsubtle Nazis with every generic theme of Europe all slammed in with them but Nazi overarching theme.
Oh and pirates are a whole faction. Who....often speak like Orks (SKULL).
This amazing description by my pal, Jack Verstanden.
As Jack just showed you in a single paragraph not even that big, there is a ton of questions here. You may be asking how the hell did Europe go from the democratic collection of nations they were to a single autocratic monarchy, or why the hell did America fully privatize, or why did the furries resort to communism of all things (and how they do not suffer any societal drawbacks of various different animal species of differing biologies and stuff somehow living together perfectly fine), or what the hell happened to North Africa and Arabia. Why are the pirates talking like Orks? What is even going on? What's the war about? How is it affecting the world?
To put it bluntly, its a war comic. Duh. There's a war. Why is there a war? Because...race. Yeah, race is the driving factor (far as I know) of this conflict. Because fuck the other race! Also, a very very questionably reliable source mentioned some stuff about how humans and furries can apparently have sex and reproduce (HOW) but the kids will be sterile and apparently due to eugenics the war also has that? Then again, this source is well known by me and the ones writing this review, and we can confirm the fella is both moronic and a grade A jackass as bad as the author, so take it with a pile of salt.
Let me explain what the issue with the plot is. It doesn't feel like its going anywhere. One of my issues with war comics and stories like these is how pointless the conflicts feel. This is no exception. The most anyone can say is that racial reasons is why this conflict is going on. Because apparently diplomacy is something everyone forgot or something. Where is the war going? Is there any purpose to it all? What's going on? Even the way the war started makes little sense. The ORB forces started their invasion....from West Africa. Despite Asia being to the East of Africa. Did they cross across an half a continent to get there? Without getting detected?
If you read the story start to its current point, you may realize, when looking from a general viewpoint, the plot feels really...directionless. It just happens. Characters occur, and stuff happens and then something else happens. There's no weight to why these happen or what they do. Not to mention plot holes occur here and there, which occur due to literal jump cuts. I know sometimes plots can seem random, but they a good plot has a sense of growth and moving forward. GunGear just doesn't a good chunk of the time. I feel like the conflict has gone nowhere. Even dumber is the lack of exploration the effects the war has. If you are familiar with conflicts IRL, you are aware just how disastrous side results can be. Refugees, economic changes, political turmoil, these would be off the charts. But you not a single time see any human refugees or how they got affected by all this. On the other hand, we are shown furries suffering under the meany humans ruling in Africa. Ok? What about all the humans massacred in the start of the comic? Do events from the past have any consequences besides 'Oh now this new conflict escalation happens.' Does anyone wanna try a bit of talking?
The general plot of GunGear, after the exposition and a glimpse of our MC, Alice, in her childhood and later as an adult in the shower (her room has a Confederate flag....she's European why does she have that), starts with Africa under attack (as mentioned earlier, from ORB....attacking a city on its west side despite Asia being to the east of Africa but whatever). So SPEAR apparently has trouble handling it and CROSS (totally not the authors pets) roll in to deal with it. Cue about 2 battles and...wow they're being pushed back, and I have already lost all sense of time. This comic is not very good at establishing the pace with which things occur in the plot. So the one enemy rival for Alice gets shot in the back of the head and we don't see any other such character that rivals her like that again. Oh and she disables a nuke inside the building the remaining ORB forces were holed in by punching it.
Then we see the ORB forces who retreated came back to the first African city they took (its at the SOUTH of Africa. What the fuck?) only to find that one of the leading STAR politicians (Who is also a former pornst- wait a second how did he take that from them? When did he get there?). If all this plot recounting seems confused, it's because I am. Whatever, so now a pornstar and media conglomerate has amassed enough forces that apparently, combining it with ORB forces now makes it one of the largest combined forces on Terra (How does a pornstar media guy make this much money? I guess military services are cheaper than basic amenities in this universe).
So anyways, remember how I mentioned STAR is now basically run by mega corps? Well now another mega corp run by Dick Fury (XD what) is like "Oh no not my investments I gotta send in ALL my contractors to stop this!" (You may felt how the corporates here are, like, really not cash money with their decisions, sending armies into foreign territories to blow things up, since war is expensive and all....and you are objectively correct in the feeling). So the pornstar politician (who is a fucking horse anthro) is also fighting for furry rights and that hes amassed all his PMCs to free them from the tyranny of SPEAR rule (Seriously? This guy is supposed to be a philanthropist for furries but he's also a pornstar? I don't think people would have respected Gandhi as much if he was a 20 Star Pimp).
Then one of Stallions big research ships with its escorts gets ambushed by SKULL pirate forces who proceed to attack and try to go after a plot device inside the ship (fun fact; you will never find out who gave them the info or why they were after it). Then some pirates find the scientist (named Hoshi) researching the plot device (think of a Tiberian crystal. Now make it pink) and being idiots despite him telling them not to touch it, they touch it and start mutating. Then after Alice meets another character (Steel, arguably one of the few likeable characters) on a carrier in the sea, the pirate and research ship fall out of the sky and into the ocean (for some reason).
Then we come into West ORB which is like mostly post medieval or mixed Renaissance (Yes I know it doesn't make sense) looking, more medieval. And here's another character, Xeno, who is a tinkerer, who apparently, knows how to make solar panels and a mini mech suit. In a village. Somehow. You'd think people would notice or hear you working on something like that or notice the solar panels being really strange in a medieval village but whatever. So Xeno proceeds to use his mech suit to kill tax collectors (who were going easy on the locals) and talk of going independent without the consultancy of...anybody from his village. How heroic. He is unsurprisingly kicked out of town, and his friend tags along cuz apparently he doesn't have a family at home who cares about him.
The CROSS-SPEAR alliance picks up the pieces of the crashed ship, and Steel's brother who works for Stallion is taken prisoner. Apparently the crystal on the ship is responsible for the creation of anthros and they were researching to make it more capable for medical reasons. So it is planned to go in there and get it, and they send in.....4 people. Alice, Hoshi, and 2 Steel soldiers. Because apparently they forgot the pirates are possibly still out there. So they get surrounded by pirates, then they get surrounded by mutant zombies caused by soldiers and pirates coming into contact with the crystal (is this how powerful its radiation is, holy shit). Then Alice gets momentarily concerned that they may fail the mission, then remembers her father thinking she's a disappointment, then suddenly gets pissed and goes full melee against the mutants, and thus also killing your care for her as she goes head first at a giant mutants mouth.
Spoilers. She lives through it. Actually, spending time inside a monsters digestive system and all seems to have healed her instead when she comes out later?
Then more pirates come to help the first pirates, some fat pirate accidentally fires a missile while smoking (inside his fighter plane) and big shooty fight starts because radio communicators forget to mention that was an accident.
Ok I'm going to be real here, just go and read the comic yourself. Looking back at it, start to finish in one go, made me realize increasingly just how lifeless the plot feels at times, how I hardly care about most of the characters because they themselves are really cardboard, and it's such a sloggy chore going through it again. I hadn't felt it before at first, but back then it was during its first 100 pages. Now, in 2021, looking at it start to finish in one go, all the flaws are clear as day.
This is a mixed bag. It's not bad entirely, there are moments when it seems good and shines, but frankly on an overall scale, it's a bit average honestly. Its not incompetent, but can be done better. The author will not hesitate to call themselves a professional, but frankly looking at some of their work, the title really feels kinda tacked on. The more you look at the gallery, the more you get what I'm talking about.
Notable inconsistencies, bad usage of color, bad foreshortening, color compositions and themes just not seeming right, the motion just feeling really stiff and sometimes not that impactful, it goes on. Look, I'm no art expert, I myself am taking art classes in university as of now, but frankly, I feel that this art style for the comic, from a digital comic view of judgement....looks rather generically bland, all things considered. There are occasional glimpses of genuine interesting things and designs, but a good chunk just ain't it.
For example, the composition here is....frankly it looks a bit off. Its not terrible, but the coloring feels off balance. The background's distance from the foreground feels confused. Also the lack of any real lighting and shading caused by the sky on the figures? Yeah expect that a LOT. No matter how much of a role that plays in the mood of the picture, thats part of why the impact of many of GunGear's scenes...really fall flat. Like, observing as is, it doesn't seem bad, but when looking at it generally, it seems the colors and lighting is what really just kills the mood for so many things.
This is underwater. Now tell me, Does the lighting tell you ANYTHING of how deep they are?
Oh no! The city is under attack! These civilians have to be extracted! The giant pink background will get you! Sarcasm aside, you get it. The background colors are downright ugly here. And once again, the foreground figures have no other lighting and shade colors on em, which...really makes em pop out in a bad way.
Also, anime theme and style characters just DON'T work in this artstyle, as GunGear Chan's appearance just is frankly ugly (WHAT ARE THOSE PANTS). Don't take my word for it. Go look up CatzK3's DeviantArt gallery for yourself.
There's a way to do RYGB values, and frankly, this is NOT the way.
Also, the faces of the characters are a mixed bag as well. Sometimes it works, other times it just....doesn't work.
Some faces look ok and what you'd expect from the artstyle. Unfortunately, there are several bad ones as well.
This is a FEMALE character. Yeah! That's a woman! Be honest here. Looking only at her face, would you have been able to tell that's a woman? Those eye brows especially. Be prepared to see a lot of fat eyebrows on furry female characters. I am not a furry and I don't have much against furries, but I have to question how any would find that attractive. I think there's more to a woman than boobs and ass.
The amount of Muppet noses also makes things unintentionally funny. And sometimes, really uglier (That's also a woman by the way.). Seriously. If there was a few Muppet noses, I'd be fine, but the amount shown in the comic just makes it look sillier.
Also this was supposed to be a massacre, but frankly, with those X_X eyes I can't take it seriously.
Also I think this was supposed to be PTSD but it looks funny instead.
The comic also has a very bad case of a self insert that is incredibly unsubtle.
I can't even say it's bad, because this isn't even the right artstyle! Also, this character died a number of pages before. So not only is this character's design in conflict with the art style (and a shameless self insert), it is also a gigantic plot hole that has remain unanswered to the public in every form. Despite the authors claims to be a professional artist, he has kept fucking up some character's anatomy. And the worst example to that is the comic's main character: Alice Eichelberger.
If you've studied art, or at least human anatomy in biology class, you know that there are many features that defines a woman other than boobs and vagina like the shape of the chin , the shape of the shoulders, the shape of the eyes, the shape of the hips etc. you know the drill. Its easy to look up figures and drawing references for these.
Especially damning is how Alice's physique seems to have changed right in the middle of the story for really, not much reason. Here's how she used to look.
While the 2019 drawing has some flaws like the pose, the shape of the eyes (even when it's generally a recurring thing in his artstyle) and the chin, it looks way more feminine that the 2021 version where Alice still has her blocky looking chin and her hips now being as wide as her abdomen (consistency varies. Seriously.) But even dumber is how right in the middle of the comic itself you are seeing occasional inconsistencies in her build and appearance. Also, for some reason, in-universe, she's touted to be like, really hot or something when, uh.....
Look I'm not saying she always looks like that, but what I am saying is that when you tout yourself as a 'professional' but do stuff like this? Where your lead female character wouldn't look out of place in an SJW comic, looking more like a trans man than a tomboy? When the MC is claimed as being some super pretty model but looks like that? Yeah, we have a problem here.
Its especially confusing because his older stuff looks LEAGUES ahead of his current stuff.
What the f- YES! This! THESE! MORE OF THESE PLEASE! They have style, soul! They actually feel like time and love was put into it! Why can't we have more of that? I thought these remain his best works to date, and sadly, these ain't coming back. If you've been here on BWW long enough, you are no stranger to out of place artstyles that just don't fit with the story or plot being told (like Original Life or Better Days) or declining artstyles (like ClosetCoon).
And this is the part where it all goes absolutely downhill from here.
The writing is arguably the worst part of GunGear, like hands down. It is beyond stupid, from a writing, storytelling, character development, and military stuff standard. The pacing of the comics gets worse. In the beginning of the comic, a scene can take between 30 and 60 pages while just changing to a different perspective of the same battlefield. Now a scene takes from 2 to 20 pages before changing to a whole other and barely related scene with little sense of time (Know that I counted the number of pages per scenes depending of where it happens in the comic's time and space,You can check it by yourself if you want). And as if that isn't enough, the scenes don't lead to anywhere and the battles rush so fast that my pal Skully wonders if this could give seizures.
This is a military sci fi comic, and frankly, it fails so badly in both those regards. From a military standpoint, this comic is retarded. Violations of military standards, basic behavior, operation behavior, everything. Just looking at it makes it quite clear that the comic is heavily taking influences from Warhammer 40000 and Command and Conquer. While by itself, that's not bad, reading through it makes it rather clear that the authors (yes, authors, I'll talk about that in a bit) did not understand what made both those settings so captivating to people. These settings had gripping artstyles, themes, and atmosphere behind them. They held immense stories behind their aesthetics, the gritty weight of their settings being felt through just taking a look at one picture. Even if the 'military sci fi' of these is really just mostly WW1-WW2 in space, the atmosphere these settings have really gives in to add to that feel. Gungear just doesn't have that. The artstyle is often way too clean and digital looking, too polished, and the colors really do not do any favors. Even if one uses saturated colors, there is a way to do it, which GunGear just doesn't do.
I can't go over every military related problem in this comic, but we'd be here all day, so instead we'll go over some.
You see a giant armored hulking enemy, and assume you can take it on with a rifle. Incredibly short-sighted of this guy with predictable results.
40th Century, advanced weapons and all. Yet bayonet charge. Makes you wonder what's the point of all those tanks and explosives then.
It is said that Crusaders have 19 years of training. Too bad tactical and strategic decision making wasn't part of it.
SAM anti air weapons are neither short range, neither would you need 3 missiles to take out one plane. Also, these CAS aircraft are flying way too low and slow. You're telling me in the far future, ground support aircraft are gonna be flying as high and fast as WW2 planes? Is technology regressing or something?
Modern tanks have ranges of several kilometers. The longest tank kill range was 5 kilometers during the Gulf War. Up to right out of visual view. So these tanks have a shorter range than a modern tank. And why do you have to come into these big open fields all the time even inside a city? Is there some honor system we're unaware of? Speaking of systems, did you know the reason the armies look like right out Advance Wars is because apparently there is an internationally accepted rule that all armies will wear specific colors for their factions. Everyone, including the canonically human hating ORB furries, accept this. You won't find this out from any lore post, you find this out reading the comment section. You'll find out why soon.
Man, the anti air options of the far future are kinda shit.
I guess when you come on board the airship of the most tech advanced faction on the planet, you should never think of bringing some kind of anti-armor or anything that may increase your chances against more advanced things they could throw at you. Also, once again, WHY ARE YOU CHARGING INTO GUNFIRE???
As said earlier in the Plot part, dangerous situation, send in 4 people. One of whom literally is not wearing any protection.
You might also notice officer characters looking very distinct and up in the frontlines mostly. Something armies stopped doing in the first world war.
Quick side note. You might notice reading throughout the entire comic, that there are barely any compact radio and communications equipment. Most communications over range you will notice are big blocky communication computers or screens. So it seems comms. equipment has also gone backwards???
Lets send in the boarding teams right in the middle of absolute chaos, that is totally safe. Also shooting at an entrenched enemy while having no cover yourself. And man soldiers must really love dying in this setting to constantly get into the worst spots for a fight. Also I get this odd feeling none of these guys have any actual martial arts training like modern soldiers do.
I bet the Taliban and other terrorists have better reflexes than these slowpokes.
This is really not how an officer should act. Neither should they be very concerned about their appearance in the middle of a mission. (Also this character has been butchered by the author, more on that later.) Also, if you have been paying attention, you may have noticed how nobody whos part of any military in this comic acts or talks like military personnel. They talk like edgy teens and swear often, acting more like disorganized bandits often rather than professionally trained soldiers. Even the 'supersoldier' Crusaders are not immune to this. Despite it being claimed they have 19 years of training, their actual actions imply anything but.
We see a sniper scope lens reflection, (while the shitty lighting of the comic gives no idea what either time of day it is nor where the sun is), but here you see it has a lens glare blocker in this panel. What.
D-Day style scene landing! With none of the strategy or tactics to preserve any soldiers asses out there! Like I said, its like every military high command WANTS soldiers to die.
Here's one of the most baffling ones. These bears with chain guns and tanks just stop and stand around like idiots while a psychic (flying in fucking mid air for everyone to see) just happily does her business messing with them. They literally just stop and look at her like idiots. Let me put things into perspective. When the British pulled the tanks on the Germans in WW1, yes they got shocked, but they immediately got their composure back and threw everything they had at the damn things, even going to club it after running out of ammo. You're telling me Germans with WW1 equipment are braver and more mentally stronger than bears with chain guns and better tanks?
You get the idea. This comic is, from a military perspective, highly inept and just really bad. And yes, this continues in engineering and technical aspects too.
This guy got shot by a flying vehicle. How did his helmet stop what his body armor couldn't?
Why does this airship have windows the size of football fields?
Pay attention to armored vehicles in this comic and you will notice that they have windows and really shitty periscope placements. No really, its just how blatantly these are weak spots and would make you wonder how something like this submarine can even go deep with that big a window on it.
If you compare a proper modern army tank to these, notice how there's no windows. And no, that circle with a few 'windows' on it is not a window to look out of, that's a periscope. Other military vehicles also do this. The whole point of armored vehicles is protecting the people inside, so you really want those periscopes to not have a crew directly behind it. That's just bad design.
This is also a VERY badly built pillbox. The purpose of a pillbox is to be a defensive turret structure that is hard to return fire into. A wide open bunker is basically a sign saying "insert grenade/sniper bullet here".
Is this kid holding a loaded gun or a toy? I can't tell, but even more telling is how 40th century AI robots can't seem to tell innocent kids apart from dangerous combatants.
This is the worst fucking artillery vehicle ever to exist. First, its legs are completely wrong for a desert, and its legs should be sinking into the desert due to its weight. That's a naval cannon on its back, and according to 'official sources', it has NO RECOIL DAMPENER. This gun should be getting ripped off its back upon firing and the thing itself flipping over. Also, the sheer lack of co-ordination for everyone to cover their ears during firing, something that's basic training for artillery fire and anyone whos around it.
Speaking of naval cannons, it seems engineers of the 39th century really have a fetish for WW2 naval cannons.
This is the 39th fucking century, and someone in the most advanced faction on Ear- ahem TERRA thought making a melee only robots was a good idea? And of course no one can aim worth shit.
Also, remember how I talked of this comic being inspired by 40K while missing the point of 40K? Well this thing is an Imperial Titan Knight rip off. Just compare them.
So once again, if you're into the military or actually from the military, chance says that you will find a lot of vehicle designs and more just downright insulting. And no, the sci fi aspect has nothing to write home about. Its generic as its blandly boring, doing nothing interesting with its scifi aspect at all. You have genetically engineered supersoldiers, robots, airships, plasma etc. This setting just doesn't try anything gripping with its scifi aspect. Even the not-tiberium crystals making furries feels more an excuse to have furries. Hell these crystals just end up as a plot device. It's just not very gripping.
Ok so the military and scifi aspects are just lazy and really badly done. So what about the worldbuilding and story coherency?
To sum up the state of worldbuilding for this comic, here's what one of my pals got from the big cheese himself.
"I never really address that (lore and worldbuilding) because I don't think its all that important, I mean, heck, am I going all the way back to the Stone Age and write out new characters for that era and catch it all up the way till current time for it all to add up? lol"
No lore, no reason for the war, not a single reason for stuff on the world (like why a chunk of CROSS which is the French province is a black ethnostate) at all. Going back to the stone age and knowing the relevant histories of your setting are 2 different things. If this setting is Earth and didn't have any serious divergence from Earth as an alternate reality of Earth, why is it so hard to explain the relevant history parts? Why is Asia overflowing with furries? Why are they communists? How long did it take for the anthros to form? How long did it take to make Novi (CROSS genetic supersoldiers)? It almost implies this author doesn't even know the history of his own setting (or can't be half assed to even really put in some effort). When you have a fictional setting with this much different from our world, yeah, a bit of lore and contexts goes a long way in gripping peoples attentions and adds more flavor to the world. Its actually some of the best parts of most fictional settings. Can you believe I found the lore and worldbuilding about Hilichurls in Genshin Impact more interesting than the actual story and game itself? It was just that interesting to me. The author, CatzK3, is at least 30 years old now, spent 15 years on this freaking project, and this is the state of it. This is just depressing. I still Remember him saying "Overly dedicated fans will slap you with your own lore if you deviate even a bit from it." What a writer. What I find baffling is that in the past he had at least tried writing some lore, and I admit, I found those more interesting to read than the actual comic. Obviously those are now outdated and marked irrelevant. So we're goin with the "Its only canon if shown in-comic" logic.
So yes let's ignore all the possible stuff that would be relevant to current events of the story. Or why anything is the way it is. Or how the hell did it get past all the socio-political... everything such moves would have caused. Let's make race and racism the ONLY issue! And yes, this comic is not safe from the authors personal politics. Check that off the list too, Webkilla. SPEAR (Africa) by far is the worst off faction. Despite being said right at the start that it has the best economy, no signs of this occur, you don't really see any hint that Africa is the biggest money house on Terra, the SPEAR soldiers look more Cold War and really really outdated looking in terms of equipment (because haha backwards Africans and Arabs). Oh and this. And of course, if you paid attention in the gallery, and the comic itself, it is frankly obvious that the totally-not-Nazis of CROSS are the authors pets, having the authors personal 'super special' race in there, the Novi (who are really just manufactured Space Marines with grey skin, varying colors of hair, have females, and can reproduce). Even though Crusaders come in various looks, the Nazi looking soldier ones have the most detail and have shown the most in the comic, and CROSS took the most amount of old lore posts and promo arts. No subtlety for you. Not to mention, that despite the Novi being made to be 'mankind's defenders' how few humans in the CROSS military seen is both noticeable, while it also seems all the Novi are running the show and allowed to do things with impunity for CROSS. CROSS is a militaristic state, if Novi are most of the military, it means they are the state, even if there are provincial governors (who are as far as I know all life support chair connected really old people who can see everything inside their provinces. Why they didn't like, just get dedicated staff and monitoring equipment to do all this while having the capacity for airships and genetic supersoldiers is beyond me). Hell, on the topic of politics, the anarcho capitalist flag in the 39th century? And a PRIDE FLAG? ARE YOU SERIOUS? Oh and of course, Confederate flags. In the 40th Century. I get the anarcho flag and the confederate flags, but the pride flag too? And of course you won't know how these ideas and what not somehow survived fully intact through to the 40th Century. Fuck you, lore, go sit in the corner.
Oh and of course the first thing we see of CROSS citizens; apparently they value human genetics so much they very specifically gave all their people blonde hair and blue-green eyes (Probably a specific province of CROSS. I wonder which?). Mini rant. I do not understand Neo-Nazis and wehraboos and their big fascination with the 'true Aryan blonde hair and blue eyes' myth. Did Hitler have blonde hair and blue eyes? Did any of the Nazi SS? I guess they weren't real Aryans after all. Mini rant over.
Also, the jump cuts in this comic are atrocious. They work more as just skipping telling things, thus just raising questions.
Oh snap, what's going to happen here? Well you don't see, and when we return to Alice, she's just there. And yes her enemy, Kitsune, got away. How? No clue.
How did she survive that? Never explained. She's bleeding like crazy. But yes she survives and neither do we find out how she got to another base.
See this poster? Yeah, we get no implications after this that the government is even 'remotely' trying to hire any furries to better their societal positions.
One of the worst of these moments is this:Ok so Alice broke out here and now has some bone knuckle super powers. Then...the next page shows a different thing going on, and when we come back to Alice and the guy she was threatening... wait how the fuck did he get here? And despite the quarantine break alarm, now Alice got here? Who told her the layout of this place? And yes we didn't see those knuckles again.
And yes, this comic has unexplained moments that are never made relevant or brought up again. Who's the Brotherhood who have a big deal being made of? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe some ORB party? Organization? I don't know. I don't even know what kind of communists they are. Also, its being made a big deal that Alice's squad died and revealed that Alice gets he soldiers killed often. But then some scenes later, we have Alice dragging a lot of Crusaders right into a Napoleonic bayonet fight like as if they're cheap soldiers easy to make. Also if its known that Alice gets her soldiers killed often, why are these Crusaders looking so happy to have her back? I think soldiers in this setting love the idea of dying instead of understanding their value in a battlefield lasting longer.
The ORB forces are well aware of what Crusaders and Novi in general are. Why did they drop radiation, something they are immune to, on top of them? Do they not know their enemy at all or what? Also the fact they even tried that implies that CBRN protection on tanks doesn't exist. SOMETHING MODERN ARMORED VEHICLES HAVE.
They're saying they have been there a week with rations, but it has no amenities and was basically one layer of chain link fence with a light utility vehicle with a machine gun as its only defensive point. That doesn't seem like something that would last a week. (And yes the time skips and timeline is whack with confusing pacing and I lost all sense of time on how much time is passing).
So the suffering of furries is a big deal, but we're completely ignoring the amount of human mass genocide in the beginning of the comic? Look, I don't support oppression or making people suffer, but the comic seems to completely glance over human suffering and deaths inflicted by the furries. Hell, at this point the comics acting like that genocide of humans at the start never happened. No one brings it up, you don't see any side effects of the invasion and war (you know, refugees, economic issues, all that stuff we keep seeing today due to conflicts and people running from that violence and death?) Hell, remember ORB got to this city before Stallion did. Lets not think about how many humans were killed during this.
Captain Edge here says they know what he's looking for, but how does he know? Who told him? The precision of the attack implies someone told him a lot of things. Well so far we got told nothing on this matter.
This used to be an African city and you saw how African cities looked in previous pages. So Stallion and ORBs arrivals somehow bettered all this? The city went from looking no different from today to cyberpunk? How much time even passed???? In fact, we are glancing over a serious issue. SPEAR's population is heavily furries, compared to humans, and of course those furries live in heavily poverty. So Stallion and ORB kicked the humans out of the cities they took in the deep south, and the furries just flocked in? How did they all fit in there? How did their lives just suddenly improve? How was there enough jobs for all of them? What happened to all the humans who got kicked? I think its really obvious this comic has a bias against humans. Hell with this logic, maybe all the people escaping war zones in the East should just emigrate into Europe! Nothing can go wrong!
Ok so that's also a mess. What about the charact- OH SHIT OK.
Oh right I mentioned that earlier. Most characters are basic caricatures, cardboard statues, or just really really creatively blandly bankrupt. Or really edgy. They're mostly boring, and act very similarly. Hell, at some point, new characters literally stop being introduced and just pop up like we're supposed to care (including the son of one of the few likeable characters who just appears right in the middle of the D-Day battlefield being one of the power armor drop soldiers. And we only knew hes there cuz hes not wearing his helmet for some reason). How am I supposed to care for these characters if there's no introduction? They may as well be some minor characters that might occasionally pop again.
Read the character gallery for yourself and take a careful look at all the characters and their stories for yourself. I like how they look as distinct as possible to blatantly signal to enemies that they're there and are officers/special units.
And yes, as you might have guessed, by far, arguably the worst character is, once again, Alice Eichelberger, our MC. There could be other contenders, but most are either so blandly forgettable, or have had so little screen time that I can't really say much. I can say I definitely liked guys like Steel and Zee. Some of Kumiko and Sirdar but that's as far as I can say, really. Alice has had the most screen time and 'development' and by far, she is THE worst character in the comic. Probably right next to Xeno (A toxic friend, a bad son, dragging innocents into something he didn't ask for, and just being an asshole in general even if he fought for a 'noble' cause.)
Alice is the most generic tough girl character you can think of. Big, brawny, doesn't take shit from anyone, you know the drill. Think of how an SJW would portray how a woman should act and you honestly would not be far off (really ironic considering the authors hate of the left and SJWs). Well minus the fact she ain't fat (although at times her waist looks just ridiculous.) Frankly she is just insufferable, has all the bad qualities of a field officer, has many Mary Sue-ish traits, and...yeah you get the picture. Her one-liners are cringy, she has terrible manners for an officer and for the chain of command in general, (no shouting back at higher officers a lot doesn't make you look tough, it makes you look an egoistic douche who can't see beyond what YOU want to do and think). She looks like she barely ever smiles organically or not look sadistically eyed or sometimes looks uncomfortably lot like a trans man (SERIOUSLY THAT CHIN). Honestly I can't even say what her motivation is. She seems to want to impress her father but...also doesn't like him? What motivates her character? I frankly am not sure.
She also, unsurprisingly, has the largest amount of bullshit pulled off that sometimes violates both basic science, story coherency, and frankly any care or worry I could possibly have for her. Hell I actually feel more sympathetic for the soldiers that work for her. I actually feel better when she gets punished (which is obviously rare). She often gets chewed out ('often' being generous here, later on the screen time splits out so much between her and the cardboard storage of characters that there aren't many examples of, well, too much anything besides her being just a really awful person) but the worst was happening to her. Frankly I thought she deserved it even though Jay's character was irreversibly butchered here. So what kind of bullshit does she get away with?
This plasma shot that kills her squad barely scratched her.
Getting blasted by an entire tank battalion including plasma shots (important note, the plasma is state as being like gooey, and here its like a laser??) and her tank and other CROSS tanks being mostly fine.
Somehow going through all that. Funny fact. After the beginning, Crusaders are never seen using their thruster packs again.
Punching a nuke and it deactivating.
Getting eaten by this thing and and somehow being alive and...mostly healed too? I guess this thing secretes healing fluids in its stomach? I'm not even sure what that thing talking to her even was. And I am not sure if we will find out in probably the next year.
I already talked about this one earlier. She breaks out of quarantine meant for her (apparently driven by the urge to protect her simp and failing), somehow gets to the Crusaders, proceeds to beat up the SPEAR soldiers and Sirdar trying to do their job despite them having a point, obviously scares a CROSS officer through a radio even though she's supposed to be in quarantine (Admirals daughter or not, she is breaking 2 separate protocols), and thus making me realize that in CROSS, nepotism is totally A-OK. Then goes to Squidward face here for some reason. Just because you have stealth doesn't mean you can detect other stealth vehicles. And man, just some psychedelic tea was needed to buy this guy? Wow. Then proceeds to find a 'stealth' submarine that is literally claimed to have THE most advanced stealth tech backing on planet Earth, enough to hand it out to CROSS too as an export, with fucking SKULL tech that so far has been more or less Ork tech. Then this idiot has a loss of brain cells giving Alice the chance to do this and then defy underwater physics in several ways. Also apparently that plasma pack is highly explosive. You're telling me an infantry grenade can do what aircraft can't?
THEN proceeds to interrogate Clara in the middle of a warzone with bullets flying and Clara dies to the wimpiest HMG turret in existence. Whoops, shit. Actually, how can that guy even see her from all the way over there and tell he shot an ally? So anyways Alice remembers that bullets are a slight inconvenience to her and proceeds to run in a straight line through machine gun fire and right up to the gunner without so much as a suppression fire bullet. Subtle plot armor? Then proceeds to stop bleeding in like, 1 minute. If you are wondering how Alice knew at all Clara would be there, or what was in her submarine, you have a good question you probably will never get the answer to. And how did Alice go through all that gunfire and stop bleedin' so quick? According to an official answer..........nanomachines. "She's made of nanomachines."
I swear to god that better not have been serious. If it was? I don't know what to say.
And as if that wasn't the most egregious conga-line example of pure raw, unfiltered bullshit, then proceeds to have her faults mentioned to her (obviously Jay had to be as obnoxious as possible here. Can't have any sympathy for him now, can we?) and kills a higher officer of her own army and nearly strangles Sirdar, an allied officer, to death for some reason. While Admiral AssHat here acts like he himself hadn't promoted Jay and insults Sirdar. Then Alice proceeds to take simp scientist Hoshi and has sex with him???? While...someone was watching. She went from murderous to horny fast.
This scene in particular needs serious mention. Take a logical view here. A soldier just murders an officer of her own command, and nearly kills an allied one. If this was the proper military, she'd be court-martialed and punished for this. Killing your own officers is simply not acceptable. This being GunGear, however, Admiral AssHat acts like he deserved it and everyone around her acts like she did nothing wrong. Even Hoshi doesn't react much to it. And she just strangles Sirdar for...what reason? I can't think of any. Because he tried blocking her from escaping earlier? This bitch is singlehandedly responsible for an entire giant monster to attack Sirdars country, but somehow he's the one whos in the wrong here? Is she just really easy to psychotically offend? Even more insulting is how no one really reacts to this. She killed someone in front of others, but everyone doesn't care that she's momentarily goin' psycho there. Her sex with Hoshi is out of nowhere. You can count all the times she ran into Hoshi on one hand. How the fuck did she develop enough attachment to fully bang this mostly pathetic spineless simp? It just feels so forced and like its there just for the sake of a sex scene. Hoshi's existence in general seems to be either to simp for Alice, be constantly rescued, or give exposition and be really bad at warning people of what the actual disaster is on time. But here's the big kicker. Remember this? The Novus Code at the very beginning of the comic. Lets go through it a bit.
'"I am Novus. Vanguard of Humanity and Bane of Anthrokind. I will protect my human creators to the best of my abilities and ensure no harm comes to them (of my own society)...I will never take a human partner nor mix with any of another kind...."'
So Alice violated the Novus Code too. She killed a human of CROSS, nearly killed another, and then had sex with a third human. She was seen by multiple people, including CROSS personnel. Nobody cared. Is nothing sacred? .....the answer is no.
Ok so the writing sucks in almost every way. How could this be any worse?
The system behind this.
By pledging to be a patron of the higher tiers you get to have your own character in the story, AND can participate and be a part of the writers board.
So the 'author' board can be expanded by having in people who have enough cash to pledge in? This is the worst possible system you could go with for a story. People with money don't translate to 'People with good story writing and designing' skills. It is blatantly obvious that there are too many cooks, and that character roster I showed you earlier just how bad this has gotten. The fact this system seems to have gone on for nearly 2 years now is bad. Even as it is right now, GunGear works like a fucking corporate product. Everything bad that is associated with 'being corporate' is in full display here, and it is baffling.
To need other peoples ideas to prop up your own thing, not take suggestions, actively need other people with and their ideas with something you should be doing yourself to begin with and often acting like they are your own, to me, just strikes me wrong. And even dumber is the fact that, he just lets things go on and often ends up increasingly finding himself written into corners. Catz not very recently got upset that some of the writers got upset that their Faction (ORB) is super underdeveloped. So he told the patrons to go rewrite the factions political ideals from the ground up then. ORB, once again, is a core Faction of the setting and part of why the plot happens (sort of I don't know what really is the plot). It was started by him, and it's been around as long as the others. Why are you asking other people to write down stuff for you?
Hell, to just be a proper part of the server, you get a 'trial' time (as far as I heard), and if you pay money, you will be let in permanently. Even though frankly before this, the system of characters and what not was honestly just really poorly thought out. Anyone who came into the server could have their own character for the official story. Not exactly the best idea since some people can get bored and leave. And even now with the current system people sometimes leave. So what happens then?
Well usually your character dies, or is bastardized and villainized, only to later die, usually at the hands of the Author’s Pet. Out of the multiple characters written into this, only about two were sent off in some proper way; one sacrificing himself to protect a hospital and cure a zombie virus, (why he didn't just like, make an aerosol version but made an explosive bomb vest version is beyond me. I mean wouldn't an explosive blow up the cure chemicals??) and another just… Didn’t reappear in the first hundred pages.
I) Was blown up underwater with a grenade.
II) Shot in the head by her own allies while Author’s Pet grabs and lifts her by the throat.
III) Strangled nearly to death by Author’s pet to be ‘put in their place’.
IV) Turned into a literal Saturday Morning Cartoon villain, only to be killed in a single punch. Now you know why Jay's character was totally butchered.
V) Became a terrorist leader (despite the character creator having left the group WELL before that character's debut)
Basically, he does not understand the concept of ‘writing characters out.’ Sure, you can kill a character off. But after seven or so times, it gets old. He doesn’t have someone get sent home to hold a front line, or anything like that. What's gonna happen to a few other characters is yet to be seen.
You leave, your character dies. Not even D&D's games do that shit.
Man, that's quite a lot to take in for the writing review part. Take a rest and a breather.
Good? Now...it's time to address the elephant in the room.
CatzK3, to really no ones surprise, is at core, just a bad person. Yeah, bullies can be amicable to some people but that doesn't change the fact they're still bullies. They pick on and torment others. Catz is no exception except he is frankly far far worse than a schoolyard bully. A lot worse.
Take it like this. You have parents and they sometimes get drunk and hit you. You fear their wrath and their drunkenness. But they still feed you and they also took you out to the circus. You had good times. Then they sometimes get drunk and hit you again. You could say "Oh my parents aren't all bad they took me to the circus and sometimes other places!" My man they shouldn't be constantly getting drunk and hitting you in the first place.
It's not like he's constantly being a dick, no one is. But thing is, when you want to judge someone, you look at everything. Like how they react to people not agreeing with them or not liking some things they do and the reasoning behind it. Everyone who talked to and met him remembers some good times, and probably he does too assuming he didn't forget all of that for his grudges. But frankly the negative sides, those just outgrew it all. And not just for me, for others too. Many others. Catz is often negative, condescending, overly emotional, hypocritical, overly judgmental, and very much a grudge keeper. And just really really pompous for what he does. He keeps bizarre rules for his server, often not mentioning what they are, and people sometimes get in trouble for that. How about 'server poaching'? Basically if you 'take' people from his server into another server (particularly if it belongs to you) that's bad, and you owe him members. Rather possessive, don't you think? Because according to him "It takes away peoples attention from my server." And then he considers the member to own that server now to be an enemy rival. There is no such thing as friendly rivalry to this man. In his own words "I like to keep my enemies as enemies." Sheesh.
Catz liked to often talk of how 'he changed' to those who get upset by him. But people sometimes keep leaving. People get enough bad times and what not still. They still leave, in varying moods. And they still have bad things to say. Honestly its clear to say that when he 'changed' its just damage control. Because lets be honest here. If he 'changed', then maybe I'd have better things to say. Maybe people would stop leaving him over time. Maybe they'd stay. But I don't. And people still keep leaving sometimes. I won't demonize Catz, but know that I believe that, same as how he thinks I'm a sand monkey asshole, I think that he is also just a racist asshole with a bad webcomic.
Furthermore, when you try to argue with him on something that YOU YOURSELF have had experience with (i.e.; Racism, Transphobia, etc.) he will dismiss your argument as being “made from an emotional place, not a ‘logical’ place.” And if that doesn’t work, he’ll bring up his sob story about being a Boer in South Africa.
That stuff I mentioned about him using other peoples ideas? Well frankly what if I told you some of that stuff would count as straight up theft? You saw Jay in the comic. His owner ended up leaving, and when he tried to get some control over his character back, Catz refused, kept using and butchering his character until eventually killing him off. Making money off that should be illegal.
The red headed terrorist leader? Yeah, as said, she belonged to someone who had left long ago. Same as with Clara. He (redhead's owner) said, and I remember, "He can use her as long as he gets her personality and all correctly." Well aside from being a one dimensional racist terrorist leader ( she was racist but not a terrorist leader in her original form by the creator) so far, the author Catz has not captured anything else about her accurately. At all. So considering this breach of terms and trust, I would say this is also a stolen character.
What kind of professional is this?
How about setting a pay to win roleplay engine for GunGear digital tabletop gaming? Your faction only gets anything if you pay. Codex for your factions army? Even if it’s a core faction? Pay up. It might appear in the comic, but you don’t have a formal unit card for anything new you bring into the game. Just a circle with wings or an anchor for air or naval assets. Five emoji heads to symbolize an army. And based on what I heard...25-50$ a pop. That's just cheap.
But that's not even the worst part. Not even close.
GunGear, under CatzK3, is a fucking Cult. We’re not talking like, chanting to summon Cthulhu or sacrificing goats to Satan, but a Cult as designated by the BITE Model. BITE, for those unfamiliar, is used to determine a group’s status as a cult. Stands for Behavioral/Intelligence/Thought/Emotional Control. Here’s the diagram Jack referred to when he assessed GG. https://freedomofmind.com/cult-mind-control/bite-model/
Your average group of friends might have like, five characteristics. A regular fandom, maybe ten or fifteen.
GunGear met at least 46 of the criteria listed IIRC (I’m including subsets of criteria listed in that number).
Here’s what Jack found from his experience in the group, over two years:
1. Regulate individual’s physical reality (You are always expected to be in the group’s VCs or wargames. It doesn’t matter if you have a job or not. If you don’t attend, even if you warn in advance, you are chastised)
2. Dictate how, and with whom the member associates or isolates
3. Manipulation and deprivation of sleep (Some of these streams will last into the hours of the morning when it comes to commissions, only ending when the owner feels like it)
4. Financial exploitation, manipulation or dependence (People will join the Patreon, and not see their character appear for over a year, paying all the while. The sunken cost fallacy also plays a big role here)
5. Restrict leisure, entertainment, vacation time
6. Major time spent with group indoctrination and rituals and/or self indoctrination including the Internet
7. Permission required for major decisions
8. Rewards and punishments used to modify behaviors, both positive and negative
9. Discourage individualism, encourage group-think
10. Impose rigid rules and regulations
11. Instill dependency and obedience
a. Deliberately withhold information
b. Distort information to make it more acceptable
c. Systematically lie to the cult member
13. Minimize or discourage access to non-cult sources of information, including:
b. Critical information
c. Former members
d. Keep members busy so they don’t have time to think and investigate
14. Compartmentalize information into Outsider vs. Insider doctrines
a. Ensure that information is not freely accessible
b. Control information at different levels and missions within group
c. Allow only leadership to decide who needs to know what and when
15. Encourage spying
b. Report deviant thoughts, feelings and actions to leadership
c. Ensure that individual behavior is monitored by group
16. Cult Propaganda
b. Misquoting statements or using them out of context from non-cult sources
17. Unethical use of confession
a. Information about ‘sins’ used to disrupt and/or dissolve identity boundaries
b. Withholding forgiveness or absolution
c. Manipulation of memory, possible false memories
18. Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth
a. Adopting the group’s ‘map of reality’ as reality
b. Instill black and white thinking
c. Decide between good vs. evil
d. Organize people into us vs. them (insiders vs. outsiders)
19. Rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism
20. Forbid critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy allowed
21. Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault
22. Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness, such as:
a. Identity guilt
d. Your past is suspect
e. Your affiliations are unwise
f. Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish
g. Social guilt
23. Instill fear, such as fear of:
a. Thinking independently
d. Losing one’s ‘salvation’ (Or in this case, comic character)
e. Leaving or being shunned by the group
f. Other’s disapproval
24. Extremes of emotional highs and lows – love bombing and praise one moment and then declaring you are horrible sinner
25. Ritualistic and sometimes public confession of sins
26. Phobia indoctrination: inculcating irrational fears about leaving the group or questioning the leader’s authority
a. No happiness or fulfillment possible outside of the group
c. Shunning of those who leave; fear of being rejected by friends and family
d. Never a legitimate reason to leave; those who leave are weak
I had to write this list down because this is fucking important. Whether he intended or not, GunGear Discord has become a cult of personality. It is a toxic place, and just not a place anyone should be at. Catz is at core a rotten person, , not even a professional, which sucks, since according to some, he once upon a time WAS a decent person. But something changed in him and now he eventually turned into this. Honestly its such a waste. There was potential here, so much. Both for GunGear as a story and for the author. But it all got squandered and now it might as well be the EA of webcomics. What a goddamn shame. It is saying something when the total mountain of behind the scenes server drama is far far FAR larger than all the total lore publicly published for this comic in its entire existence. And that is just depressing.
If you have time to waste, or looking for cheap fapbait either as a furry or as a non furry, then I guess this comic is for you. But frankly I can't recommend this comic to anyone. When you look past the mindlessness and the clear flashy colors its using, and use some thinking, everything in this comic just falls apart. Its handling is a mess, the author is a giant douche, its system behind it is corrupted, the story sucks, there is no lore or anything to read, and its just feels run off the mill, which is weird considering you rarely see war webcomics out there. So it will be catalogued here, along with all the other bad webcomics, as a great manual on what NOT to do as webcomic creator.