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File:BuckGodotZapGunForHire1 2455.jpg

Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire is a science-fiction/action/comedy comics series by Phil Foglio, featuring the adventures of private detective/bodyguard-for-hire Buck Godot, operating out of the Lawless planet of New Hong Kong.

The supporting cast include Al, the manager of Buck's favourite bar (who looks like a short green cartoony version of the critter from Alien); and Madame Louisa Dem Five, a pillar of the local *ahem* service industry.

The series started as a string of short pieces in various anthology comics, some of which were collected in the first Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire collection. In these stories, Buck protects a woman pursued by fanatical sun-priests, finds a lost heir despite the hindrance of being followed around by a freelance conscience, defends a cargo ship from space pirate attack, and attempts to learn the secret of teleportation from an enigmatic alien (with the fate of worlds hanging in the balance).

There's also a one-off graphic novel, PSmIth. An attempted ongoing comic book folded, due to scheduling and other problems, after a single story arc; but that story arc, The Gallimaufry, is the crowning achievement of the series, the added length allowing new levels of depth and complexity in plot and worldbuilding.

Following the success of Girl Genius, the series was re-released in web-comic form. The last installment of The Gallimaufry went up on June 20th, 2009. The following week saw a reprinting the three-page "True Story of the Winslow". And that appears to be that. (Almost.) One of the original short stories (the one with nudity) is not included at the above site. We're sure you can find it if you look hard, though.

Tropes used in Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire include:


Beemah:: Have confidence in you. We think humanity will survive. Sneaky. Admire this.

    • Even the Prime Movers, the Arisian-like superintelligent godlike aliens who, it seems, run the universe, think that humanity is special... apparently because we think the Winslow is annoying.
  • Human Subspecies: Humans have several subspecies created by genetic engineering to live in specific hostile environments.
  • Hypercompetent Sidearms: Smith and Wesson are clearly the brains of the Pistol Packin' Polaris Packrat's operation.
  • I Call It Vera: Buck's zap-gun, "Junior". Junior's rifle cousin "Senior" shows up on occasion, but is never used.
  • I Did What I Had to Do Par's response to accusations against him of enslavement and genocide.
  • Immortal Life Is Cheap
  • Info Dump
  • Intellectual Animal: Security Specialists Rowan and Martin.
  • Interfaith Smoothie: The Church of Slag-Blah who are "militant agnostics" who celebrate a different religion's holy day every day.
  • Interspecies Romance: Subverted by Buck/Louisa (Hoffmanites find humans underdeveloped and also "a wee bit... delicate") and Buck/Tal (since she's a reptilean alien, as Buck points out, even if he were inclined to perv he wouldn't know what to look at. Turns out he's lying — or at least he's learned what to make lascivious comments about.)
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Klegdixal. EVERYONE in the galaxy thinks that they're jerks, but they've actually dedicated their vast knowledge of biotech to preventing biowarfare; see also Morality Pet below. This is not to say that they are not, in fact, jerks.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner
  • Knight Templar: Security Chief Parahexavoctal is not above opening entire embassies to space to keep order. And that's only the beginning of the lengths he'll go to.
  • Love Is in the Air: When she chooses, Louisa can become a walking pheromone factory. It's a treatment anyone can acquire, but it requires stringent licensing.
  • MacGuffin: The Winslow, so very much — he could have been an inert lump of indestructium for all the difference it would have made to the plot. Given a great big Lampshade Hanging, with much discussion of the fact that although everybody knows he's very important, there's no general agreement on exactly why.
  • Mass Teleportation: In one story, Buck has to gain the trust of a mysterious alien which has the mass teleportation technology needed to evacuate all the people off a planet that's about to be wiped out by a supernova. When he finally manages to explain the situation, the alien casually suggests that it would be just as easy to teleport the entire planet.
  • McNinja: Every species has them, and most are Highly Visible and follow the Inverse Law.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Louisa Dem Five — to the characters as well as the readers.
  • Morality Pet: The Beemahs effectively become this for the Klegs. Initially hating and fearing the Klegs, who created the technology with which the Zmouf made the Beemahs as slaves, the Beemahs are as stunned as anyone else to discover that the Klegs had had no idea what the Zmouf intended, were horrified to learn the truth, and have felt guilty about it ever since. The Klegs are overjoyed to have a chance to make amends.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain
  • Noodle Incident
    • The job Buck once did for Lord Thezmothete.
    • Also, Martian Charades. And a whole host of other things...
  • No Transhumanism Allowed: Subverted. Humans like to tinker.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: The Teleporter incident.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The Winslow. Maybe.

"No! do not eat own foot! Could not be stupider if you tried!"

  • An Offer You Can't Refuse
    • In the Teleporter story, the villain founds an entire inhabited colony world just so it will be in danger in a way that forces Buck to discover the Teleporter's secret for X-Tel. Note: This was done while the villain didn't know where in the universe Buck was, or whether he could be found before said planet met its fate. Nice guys, X-Tel.
    • Also the Prime Mover's "restraining order" on Hyraax.
  • One World Order
  • Paparazzi: Hyraxx D'Mofiti
  • Pie in the Face
  • Plant Aliens
  • Porn Stash: Even nigh-omnipotent aliens have them.
  • The Power of Legacy: Security Chief Parahexavoctal is revealed to have committed several large-scale crimes in pursuit of his assigned duty, including (but not limited to) genocide and the large-scale enslavement of a sentient race. When confronted with his sins, he continues to claim that he just did what he had to do in order to provide thousands of years of peace on the station. The Prime Mover acknowledges this, and decrees that his record shall stand as a shining example to all his successors with no mention of his crimes. Par smiles and thanks him for fulfilling his ultimate wish, even as he is wiped from existence.
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner

Der Rock the Destroyer: Do not be lulled by my present condition, PSmith. There are only 35 of you.


Buck: Oort, what is wrong with how I dress?
Oort: Don't ask me, Buck. I was raised to ignore a sentient's handicaps.


Godot Was Here. The Winslow is here. He's everywhere. All hail.