Skylanders #1 is one part continuing story, one part short. Is it able to balance the two to create a fluid, fun read? Is it good?
Skylanders #1 (IDW Publishing)
The continuing story titled “Forgetting Flynn” begins by not only giving our main character Flynn a headache but the reader as well. The freshman class is being transported to Skylander Academy to begin their training; unfortunately, the freshman class is the equivalent of a bunch of four year olds set on a path to drive Flynn crazy.
They do drive Flynn and writers Ron Marz and David A. Rodriguez bonkers because, despite his better judgment, Flynn’s stomach takes priority over the safety of his wild passengers! The story goes from bad to worse with the introduction of the villain Kaos. Flynn becomes a walking zombie only focused on one thing: an “enchilada.” In the middle of his quest to obtain an enchilada, Marz and Rodriguez spend a few pages introducing new readers to the world of Skylanders. The aside is too direct and is an inopportune time for world-building. Enchiladas and the villain Kaos are much more interesting than the history of Skylanders told through hologram, which is all too reminiscent of how a video game would introduce their story. This direct path takes away from the joy of discovery inside the world of Skylanders.
Despite the story, the artwork by Mike Bowden was entertaining. He is able to introduce a myriad of new Skylander freshmen, but also incorporate tried and true heroes, such as Spyro. Probably the saving grace of the whole enchilada experience is the way Flynn looked as a zombie, especially the spiral in his eyes. It is delightfully comical. Bowden also excelled at portraying the emotions of an overwhelmed chaperone in the beginning of the story. Parents will definitely sympathize with Flynn at least until his irresponsible behavior and sole focus on an enchilada are revealed.
Fernando Peniche’s colors are vibrant. His use of light especially when working on Kaos is able to mimic the magma flowing from a volcano. There are a couple of odd choices in the change in the color of the sky going from a very pretty blue to a pale yellow in one panel and then reverting back to blue only to end up with a combination of blue and pink rays.
Moving onto “The Secret Origin of Trigger Happy,” Marz and Rodriguez continue in the writer’s seat. The entire story is an attempt at satirizing the famous super heroes’ origin stories. Unfortunately, it tries to beat the reader over the head with its writing. Once again the art saves the writing — seeing David Baldeón’s flying gremlin have an absolute look of fear before he undergoes the super serum injection brings the comedy to life. Unfortunately, he overshadows the comical artwork with a giant close up of Trigger Happy, which takes up at least a quarter of the page.
The book ends on a good note with interesting Skylander hero biographies, giving new and old readers a little bit of history on their favorite Skylanders.
Is It Good?
The writing is subpar and attempts to beat the reader over the head with its comedy in both “Forgetting Flynn” and “The Secret Origin of Trigger Happy”. Fortunately, the artwork of Mike Bowden and David Baldeón are able to salvage the book and viewed away from the writing are pretty comical.