Overview: There’s no easy way to encapsulate what happens in this issue. The basics are that some renegade farmers turned astronauts are doing bad stuff, and it’s up to the Power Persons Five to stop the interstellar tomfoolery. We’ll get into some of the specifics during the actual review.
Story: Ryan Browne is a clever dude, and this story is a crazy amalgamation of sight gags, wordplay, referential humor, and just plain old sophomoric humor. Your mileage may vary depending on your taste in regards to humor. I haven’t read all of the original stuff, but a fair amount, so I knew I was already on board with Browne’s sense of humor. If you do enjoy this level of irreverence and goof than you should have a blast reading this; everything from character names, to plot, to the very literal onomatopoeia is humorous. I did remember laughing out loud a bit more with previous material, but this is also just the first issue of–and I’m quoting here–” a multi-part epic of the highest order resulting in five parts to read and enjoy in the bathtub or while riding an elliptical machine.”
The plot does a couple of time jumps that can be a bit confusing, but the nice part is the plot is mostly ludicrous anyway, so any confusion can be filed under “oh well”. Browne does take a tangential right turn to recap some stuff from the previous volume (that you can purchase in print HERE though if you do it on Amazon, don’t forget to use the support iFanboy link) and for the most part it works out just fine, 3-D Cowboy was pretty funny as our guide through the past. The only problem I found was that we got an introduction for Star Grass, but not for all the bears or the Impossible, or Reginald VelJohnson–not that Carl Winslow needs one, but new readers might wonder who he is.
All in all this was right about what I expected going in, it’s very funny, ridiculous, and mostly insane, but if you like all those things working in harmony, you should check this out. Continuity and plot points that follow logic are boring, this book is here to remind us all that sometimes it’s just fun to watch super-heroes get kicked in the dick by horses.
Art: Ryan Browne also does the art for this series, and it is fantastic. If you’ve been reading Manhattan Projects–which you really should be–you might remember Browne was the fill-in for Nick Pitarra on the Oppenheimer Civil War issues. His style is cartoon-esque, but also pretty well detailed, and he does some amazing versions of animals, both regular and anthropomorphic. Colorist Jordan Boyd does a wonderful job, the book is awash in hues of orange, blue, pink, and purple but not in an expressionistic way; you almost don’t notice that it’s different until you start to pay close attention. I mean that as a compliment in case it’s not apparent, I think it’s a hard thing to accomplish using non-local colors and not having it stick out blatantly.
Another factor that I really enjoyed, was the onomatopoeia. Browne uses it to infuse a lot of the action with humor as well. I believe he is both poking fun and having fun with it, there is no mean-spirited nature to it, it’s done with tongue firmly in cheek. Some examples are: SLAMB!, HAMMER TIME!, CHITTY! CHITTY! BANG! BANG! and my favorite MARITAL STRIFE! Nearly every action is accented by some form of it, even when it is completely unnecessary–which I believe is the point.
Conclusion: I’m excited to read more of this series, and if the cancellation of one of your favorite literally “funny” books has you missing the laughter, you should at the very least check this book out. It’s a wonderful ribbing/homage to super-hero books, and sometimes we all need to just relax and enjoy the insanity, instead of taking our capes and cowls so seriously.
So what do you think NBC! faithful? Did you take my recommendation and dislike or like the book? Did my review force you to rethink your position? Is this too many questions to end an article with? Please let me know in the comments section, and as always thank you for reading!