A complete package.
Out today is the continuation of Tom Peyer and Jamal Igle’s excellent series Wrong Earth. The first issue not only kicked off the series, but AHOY Comics on the whole — and served as a very promising beginning for both. This is a series of duality with alternate universes switching their big Batman-like heroes and their main villains. The big difference between the two universes is one is basically Dark Knight Returns and the other is more Adam West Batman. This can’t end well.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The saga of two world-swapped heroes continues! On gritty Earth-Omega, the cheerful Dragonflyman faces off against corrupt, violent police. Meanwhile, the naïve authorities of colorful Earth-Alpha enrage the grim Dragonfly. EXTRA! Dragonflyman and Stinger confront the dastardly menace called NIMBY!
Why does this matter?
The flip on dimensions has been done before, but not like this. The first issue had me a bit nervous it might go down a predictable path, but this issue breaks from the mold with some clever twists and turns you won’t want to miss.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
After the first issue, I assumed the violent Earth-Omega dimension would eat the more innocent Dragonflyman alive and the purer Earth-Alpha dimension would be stomped to bits by the tougher Dragonflyman. Oh, how I was wrong. This issue beautifully uses the sillier Dragonflyman in very clever ways, never using him as the butt of a joke, but instead revealing he’s much more of a survivor than you ever expected. Peyer takes this character’s powers, which include impossibly well-timed gadgetry that doesn’t actually make a ton of sense, and quickly shows this violent foul-mouthed dimension may be in for it from him. It’s his story I can’t stop thinking about and I’m anxiously awaiting if this darker dimension will taint him.
Our more tough and gritty Dragonflyman, however, is coming to grips with a reality that should bring a smile to his face. This side of the story is interesting in that all his anxiety and rage may come in handy when his arch-nemesis begins to slay others, but it’s also fun to see how Peyer reveals his humanity. It’s something he’s assuredly lost for some time, which makes even the smallest revelation interesting.
This is all backed up by great superhero style art by Igle. It’s detailed and quite good at telling the story on these characters’ faces. There’s an attention to detail that is unmistakable, like the detailed rain effects early on or a great reflection shot later.
Accompanying this story is a great backup by Paul Constant and Tom Feister, playing up the capitalist nature of Earth-Alpha. There’s some tongue-in-cheek humor that actually might have gone over the heads of those living in the 50s and it’s a nice reminder of how this world is very different from our own (which is darker to be sure). There are also two short stories that are funny, a ridiculous “Microwave directions for your chicken-fried steak entree” recipe by Mark Russell, and a few pinups.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The villains are leaving me confused as far as where they are and what they’re doing. We’re so focused on the heroes reflecting on their new surroundings we lose sight of the conflict at hand with the supervillains. The Earth-Alpha villain in particular left me scratching my head.
Is it good?
AHOY Comics is, simply put, offering readers a complete package of content. You get a high-quality comic story, prose shorts, and extra art too. Even if you’re on the fence it’s hard to argue you aren’t getting more for your money. The main story continues to play around with superhero conventions that are hard to pass up.