MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 #1
Writer: Joel Hodgson, Harold Buchholz, Matt McGinnis, Mary Robinson, Seth Robinson, Sharyl Volpe
Artist: Todd Nauck, Mike Manly
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Colorist: Mike Manly, Wes Dzioba
Cover Artist: Todd Nauck
If you’re not familiar with Mystery Science Theater 3000, here’s the elevator pitch: “What if a guy was stuck on a space station, and forced, by his evil boss, to watch gawdawful movies by himself? He creates a bunch of robot pals, and they add snarky commentary as the movie screens.”
The riffing hilarity of Mystery Science Theater 3000 comes to comics when Kinga Forrester pairs her Kingachrome Liquid Medium with her latest invention–the Bubbulat-R! Jonah Heston, Crow T. Robot, and Tom Servo find themselves thrust into the 2-D world of public domain comics, with riffing as their only defense!
Tom Servo finds himself replacing Johnny Jason, Teen Reporter, who is investigating the attempted kidnapping of a movie starlet. Is it a hoax to drum up publicity, or is something else going on?
The concept works, but the payoff isn’t that good. Some of it was clever, but not laugh-out-loud funny. (Compare this concept with Deadpool #11.) Perhaps the limitations of taking a public-domain comic hampered the resulting humor. MST3K might have more luck with other publishers, like DC’s Rex the Wonder Dog. or perhaps some of the really bad comics from the 1960s.
Will I read more? Maybe as a trade, but I’m not that big a fan. More likely if I come across it, just like I would if I saw MST3K on the program guide as I channel surf.
THE WRONG EARTH #1
AHOY Comics launches with a biting superhero satire! On one world, Dragonflyman and his sidekick Stinger enjoy a life of adventure. On another Earth, the Dragonfly hunts criminal parasites like a lethal exterminator. But what happens when these two heroes change places? By Tom Peyer (Captain Kid, Hourman) and Jamal Igle (Black, Supergirl)!
AND: A “Golden Age” Stinger solo story, by Paul Constant and Frank Cammuso!
Plus: An all-new text story by comics legend Grant Morrison: ‘HUD’ HORNET’S HOLIDAY IN HELL, illustrated by Rob Steen! All this plus a cartoon by Shannon Wheeler!
We’ve seen “normal” superheroes shunted into dystopian locales, in fact entire events where heroes had to reverse a timeline, usually by Killing Hitler. “The Wrong Earth” This is a bit different, as we have a Prince and the Pauper situation of two heroes switched into radically different environments, and a possible Earth-3 situation (or is it “Dark Nights”?) with the villains (and maybe a hero) .
Will this series explore the “nature vs. nurture” debate? Is it the person or the environment which determines how a person acts? Will Dragonflyman succumb to the grim-and-gritty reality of Earth-Omega? Will the Dragonfly soften in the nice-and-quiet reality of Earth-Alpha? And what of their nemeses, The One, which also switched realities? AND… what of the other rogues and heroes of each reality? How will they fit into all this? How soon before they realize that the portal is still open? (Yes, I realize I sound like William Dozier.)
The rest of the comic was okay. I wasn’t impressed much with Morrison’s Hud Hornet short story. The Stinger backup was enjoyable, and for $3.99, you get a lot of comic.
Will I read more? Yeah, but I’ll wait for the trade. Like Astro City, this seems it will work better as a graphic novel. Buy the comics if you want the extras.
HEROES IN CRISIS #1
Welcome to Sanctuary, an ultra-secret hospital for superheroes who’ve been traumatized by crime-fighting and cosmic combat. But something goes inexplicably wrong when many patients wind up dead, with two well-known operators as the prime suspects: Harley Quinn and Booster Gold! It’s up to the DC Trinity of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman to investigate—but can they get the job done in the face of overwhelming opposition?
Finally, we get to the Debbie Downer of the bunch, “Heroes in Crisis“. I liked the elevator pitch of the story: there’s a psychiatric facility, located in Small Town, Nebraska, that treats heroes for Post-Traumatic Stress and other related maladies. Of course, it’s got “crisis” in the title, so you should expect a few deaths and other disturbing incidents as the story progresses.
Throughout this issue, there are three storylines:
- Harley Quinn and Booster Gold in a diner. (Quibble: diner knives are not that sharp.)
- Flashback interviews with patients at Sanctuary.
- Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman visiting Sanctuary.
The story is mostly the fight between Harley Quinn and Booster Gold, with some exposition throughout. It’s starting slow, and I guess we’ll see a big surprise by the end. I guess this is a mixture of “Identity Crisis” and “Watchmen”, as the mystery is revealed. I don’t know if there’s a conspiracy like we saw in those two titles, but I do suspect there will be even more uproar over future issues.
I’m kinda curious to read this monthly, partly to collect the Ryan Sook “file photo” covers, and to see how King and Mann tell the story. None of this shocks me anymore… maybe I have a comics-related mental disorder? Pull the trigger often enough, and you don’t react, it’s just part of the soundtrack as you keep walking. Me, I wouldn’t be surprised if Barbara Gordon is featured on one of the covers. It’s almost a given, considering the photographic evidence from the incident.
I’ve been writing for The Beat since July of 2010.
I’ve been reading comics since 1974, collecting since 1984, and spreading the graphic novel gospel since 1994.
I’m a bookseller, a librarian, an amateur scholar, a cool uncle, and a comics evangelist.
Ask me anything!