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‘Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John’ explores the weird side of this universe

‘Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John’ explores the weird side of this universe


Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John #1
Written by John Omohundro, Kat Leyh, Ryan Ferrier, Paul Allor, Mad Rupert
Art by Eryk Donovan, Kat Leyh, Jorge Corona, Adam Del Re, Mad Rupert
Colors by Whitney Cogar, Kat Leyh, Jeremy Lawson, Adam Del Re
Published by BOOM! Studios

One of the mainstays of the Bravest Warriors comics and cartoons is the Holo-John. It’s a private room in the Bravest Warriors’ hideout where you can enjoy a fun simulation of your choosing while going to the bathroom. It’s like the Holodeck in Star Trek: TNG‘s immature, yet creative cousin. Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John is a special one-shot set entirely in this wonderful little room and shows its storytelling potential. The stories have their funny moments, bizarre bits (I will never unsee Mad Rupert’s drawing of Wallow in his undies.), and the best ones explore the relationship between the Bravest Warriors and various characters, including Beth’s dad, Pickle Chips, and the Holo John himself in a more metaphysical tale from Ryan Ferrier (D4VE) and Jorge Corona (Goners).

The opening story in Tales from the Holo John is written by Danny Vasquez voice actor John Omohundro with art by Eryk Donovan (Memetic) and colors from Whitney Cogar (Adventure Time). It has the surreal feel of an episode of Regular Show as a goldfish Danny got as a birthday present dies, and he makes a perfect Holo-replica of it, which ends up going all wrong.

Omohundro captures Danny’s neurotic and passionate nature through his writing as he meticulously cares for his goldfish Mr. Tickles even as he becomes a world destroying monster. He also inserts a tiny amount of satire about how nothing ever really gets deleted from your computer or cloud, which propels the plot.BravestWarriors-HoloJohn-PRESS-04-16242 Donovan’s art varies from good to not great as the Bravest Warriors’ look stiffly posed in some panels, but he handles the evolution of Mr. Tickles from dead pet to lake monster on a nice scale giving the characters plenty of room to punch. Whitney Cogar uses some ethereal blues to show the play between Mr. Tickles and the Holo-John, which is the artistic highlight of the story.

“Heist” is written and drawn by Kat Leyh (Adventure Time) and focuses on Beth and Plum teaming up and pulling off a grab and smash together. Leyh writes some honest dialogue about Beth and Plum not spending much time together and ends in some bathroom humor, which might undermine this development, but made me chuckle nonetheless. Leyh’s art is clear and moves at a zippy pace as Plum kicks, climbs, and flips her way through the Holo-John, and her colors are suitably murky. This story is La Femme Nikita starring a cool mermaid and her friend, who badly needs to use the lady’s room.

From its cheeky, clever title alone “Do Holo Johns Dream of Electric Pee” is the highlight of the Tales from the Holo John. Writer Ryan Ferrier, artist Jorge Corona, and colorist Jeremy Lawson (Teen Titans Go) embrace the weird side of the Holo John from their first page with a hilarious page of Beth rocking out to a band of literal animals. Then, they make the Holo John sentient, and the philosophy jokes, puns, and occasional butt joke flow freely from him and the Bravest Warriors. Corona makes Holo John look like a creepy janitor, and Lawson embraces the diverse colors of the Warriors and their Sticker Pets to craft candy colored madness. And Ferrier and Corona wrap up the story in a nice emotional bow as soft-hearted Wallow connects with Holo John’s tender hearted side turning him into a sympathetic figure.

“Father/Daughter Fun Day” written by Paul Ballor (TMNT: Mutanimals) and drawn by Adam Del Re (The Way Out) is the most continuity heavy story with its look at the relationship between Beth and her evil dad Pickle Chips, who wants to sacrifice her to the Aeon Worm as seen in Bravest Warriors Season 2. Paul Ballor’s writing is filled with the almost too natural repartee between Beth and her dad before revealing it’s just a hologram. He shows that there’s no easy way to fix their relationship, and Adam Del Re uses Beth’s static body positioning to show how sad and withdrawn she is. But before this sad ending, he draws and colors one hell of a red ant monster.

The final story “Plant Bonanza” is pure silly fun from Mad Rupert (Bee and Puppycat) and colorist Whitney Cogar. Rupert tells a simple story about Danny bringing a bunch of rich nerds (in a variety of alien and humanoid shapes and sizes) to see his fancy plant garden, which is really just the Holo-John. Hilarity ensues, and Rupert’s expressive style works wells with the reaction shots and Danny’s fumbling to get the Holo-John to work for his new friends. Again, Whitney Cogar’s colors are vivid and chaotic to complement Danny’s garden gone wrong.

Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John #1 shows that it’s okay to be a little weird in comics and gives each member of the team a showcase across five short stories filled with action, potty jokes, and maybe some feels along the way.