Lockjaw #1 focuses on the most lovable and most loyal member of the Inhumans cast and starts a comedic series about what Lockjaw gets up to whenever he teleports away from Black Bolt and the Inhuman royal family. Can Lockjaw hold its own next to the other Inhumans books on the shelf?
Lockjaw #1 is an absolute delight to read. It’s cute, it’s funny, and it’s absolutely ridiculous. After a brief introduction to Lockjaw himself trotting around New Arctilan, we’re introduced to Dennis Dunphy, a.k.a. Demolition Man, or D-Man for short. His boyfriend has left him, his heroic days appear to be behind him, and a giant mustachioed bulldog has appeared in front of his home. As the narrator and vehicle through which the series will communicate to the readers–as Lockjaw himself doesn’t speak–writer Daniel Kibblesmith writes Dennis as self-deprecating and slobby, but not completely unlikable individual. The sarcastic humor used throughout the issue keeps things light as Dennis reacts to the sudden appearance of a large teleporting canine. Dennis’s neighbor, Mrs. Gillespie, is particularly funny through her spacey demeanor and complete absorption with her dog, Bixby. I rarely laugh out loud while reading, but there’s a line Kibblesmith gives her that made me shout and cackle when I read it.
The art team on this book matches the tone perfectly. In every panel penciler Carlos Villa and inker Roberto Poggi make Lockjaw look goofy yet imposing. Cuddly, but competent. From his slobbery tongue to his lumbering trots, Lockjaw looks completely ridiculous and that is absolutely what I want from a Lockjaw book. Though there are a couple wonky looking faces here and there, the humans of Lockjaw are expressive, and every setting has just enough details to flesh it out without overwhelming the page. For a lighthearted series like this, I wouldn’t want the panels to be filled to the brim with lines, but Villa and Poggi still add plenty of details to flesh everything out.
Colorist Chris O’Halloran nails the electric blues and whites of Lockjaw’s teleporting powers and colors the pages with bright hues that match the lighthearted tone well. I particularly like the texture work done on Lockjaw’s fur and clothing. D-Man’s sweatpants have a different texture colored on them than his jacket and it makes the clothes seem more real, but the difference is subtle enough that it keeps the art simple, but not simplistic. The lettering throughout the issue matches the fun, bright vibe the colors and art gives with big action effects that pop with color and character. Clayton Cowles bends a “FUUOOMPH” around Lockjaw’s frame as he teleports in and adds a more solid “KRAAKASH” as he crashes through a wooden table, making the lettering contribute to the overall cartoon fun the comic provides.
Lockjaw #1 is tons of fun to read and fans new and old of Blackagar Boltagon’s childhood friend are sure to love this bright, silly series as a nice break from the usual Inhumans drama. I can’t wait to see what hijinks Lockjaw and D-Man get up to as the series continues.