World Comic Book Review

2nd March 2024

Technofreak #1-4 (review) – “Are you freakin’ kidding me?”

Co-creator, design, color: John Charles

Co-creator, script: Barry May

Artist: Tom Newell

American Mythology 2021

COMIC ADVENTURES are back. We are all supposed to be kids here, or maybe a mangled adult wallowing in a beer over that chick that really has you by the balls, as Lenny Bruce once put it, I think. Four-issue series TECHNOFREAK starts at a barstool, when our hero Jon Sherlok in the year 3026, nursing a bottle, learns his heartthrob Loretta, who does not yet know she loves him like he loves her, is missing; really gone.

Jon checks the computer in his head (last sane survivor of the Technofreak program), and then jumps into action to find Loretta, with his ex-partner Neville, a big brute guy, and a talking robot cat Maurice, who narrates the action, so we don’t get lost. It’s all serious and zany, packed with adventures, and spliced with silliness.

Art style, themes, quips, beg for a genre label, like future sci-fi crime noir, or witty British romp, a cache for artist Tom Newell, and co-creator John Charles, a veteran of long-running UK strip compendium 2000AD. Both art and drama look fresh and new, yet old and staid, something you’ve seen before till it’s wired in your mind, yet can’t help chuckle at the brazen bombastity, recombining old ore into new plastic chips, synched, and electrified. Gags and jokes planted by writer Barry May dot the perimeter, skip along in the action, and blend into the art, curve round the occasional naked cartooned butt, sly smile, shocked looks.

I wasn’t prepared to be attracted to Technofreak, watching a wired-up guy, and brutes and babes with big guns jump into fiery action, again; but Maurice the robot cat hooked me in the beginning of Issue 2, falling from a skyscraper with his mates Jon and Neville. These days we know the machine voice in our lives is not always right, but then, neither are you. Adds amusing perspective. Through the twists and turns, it’s always good to know what the cat thinks.

Jon is not a superhero, just computerized. He could die. Maybe he does. Too bad if it’s so. I felt abandoned in Issue 4, when it said, “The technofreakin’ end”; I wanted this spritely machinery to go on till 3026 CE. Afterward, I ended up at a barstool, wondering over a bottle, why she left, what was my fault, and wherever I might find her again. My dear proud Loretta.