by Andrew Cosby & Johanna Stokes (writers), Axel Medellin Machain (art), Andres Lozano (colors), and Johnny Lowe (letters)
The Story: We finally get to see Mr. Stuffins beat some faces as the NSA attacks Zach’s home and family.
What’s Good: This quiet title really came out of nowhere. After reading this issue and the last in quick succession, I can safely say that this miniseries is fantastic! One part action movie, one part “Toy Story,” there’s simply nothing else like this right now.
The most evident strong-point for this series is without a doubt the writing. Zach really does sound like a genuine nine-year-old, which is quite the achievement considering the number of comics that sport children who either sound too mature or too moronic. Meanwhile, nearly everything that comes out of Stuffins’ mouth is as hilarious as you’d expect. Hearing an action hero’s voice come from a teddy bear never gets old. In this issue though, Cosby & Stokes write him particularly well; they not only succeed in making him a badass, but this month, he becomes more multifaceted, showing a softer side as well as hinting at how lost and confused he really is. You’ll witness the teddy bear manage to become a real character and not just a mere walking punch-line.
The main attraction of this issue though is seeing Mr. Stuffins in action, and I can assure you that it delivers. Seeing a teddy bear kick the asses of twenty highly-trained commandos, with banter, is just as awesome as it sounds and watching him stitch his shoulder afterwards, calling it a “fleshwound” as he bites the thread with his teeth, really sums up this series.
Machain continues to shine on pencils, giving the book a “Disney Channel” feel. It looks like the afternoon cartoon that you’ve always wished existed. I continue to adore Machain’s work on Stuffins himself. It’s amazing how much character Machain is able to give a relatively drab-looking, plain brown teddy bear. As was the case last issue, a good part of this comes thanks to Stuffins’ facial expressions, particularly his perpetual “Steven Seagal like” scowl. Stuffins’ face alone is enough to guarantee laughs.
What’s Not So Good: Not a lot to say against this comic really. I did however notice a couple of mishaps with the art. One frame showed Stuffins and Zach running up a flight of stairs, only for the next frame to see them standing at the bottom of those same stairs. In another case, a character’s gray suit magically turns brown for a frame. These are the only two such errors in the book, but they are head-scratchers.
Also, Cosby and Stokes occasionally like to use dialogue snippets to segue from one page to another. However, I’m not sure why they opted to use word bubbles instead of textboxes, as the end result is a little confusing.
Conclusion: Mr. Stuffins continues to be one of the funniest comics I’ve ever read. With it’s lead character and its “family drama” backstory, it plays out like a Pixar movie. This is a book that will make even the most hardened “mature comics” reader feel like a kid again.