Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn (Writers), Scott Koblish (Artist), Val Staples (Colorist)
The Story: The White Man comes back from to this era to enact revenge against Power Man, Iron Fist and Deadpool. Chaos ensues.
The Review: It’s always fun to see a writer try to come up with strange ideas, seeing them try to follow it up as their stories goes on. Innovation is hard to come by as well as clean fun sometimes as a lot (though not all) of writers goes for the easy road when it comes to conflict or setting up threats.
However, while it’s nice to see new things, those can fail just as much as older and more familiar ones if not handled right. Unfortunately for this comic, the White Man and pretty much everything that entails that characters soon becomes rather boring, verging on the annoying at times.
What makes the issue disappointing isn’t mainly the villain, but rather the fact that it tries too hard at some points and not enough in others. The way Duggan and Posehn tries to show the difference between the 70’s and today through the characters, the comic itself and how the comic is written is admirable, yet it never do enough with the concept. It’s funny to see the difference with how people see media nowadays and how communication methods changed through the years, yet the characters themselves merely mention it with close to no humour or focus on that simple fact.
Speaking of a lack of humor, there is a severe lowering quality in this issue when it comes to the jokes. While comedy is something rather subjective to the readers, there is simply close to no jokes here, with both writers relying too much on the same ones along the issue. They do create some funny situations and write one or two jokes that are pretty fun*, yet there aren’t really a lot of particularly memorable one here.
As for the plot, it is merely okay at best, as the conflict between the older member of Heroes for Hire, Deadpool and the White Man plays in a very standard way in terms of superheroics. Exposition, confrontation, problem to solve, second confrontation, conclusion and that’s pretty much it. There are one or two twists here and there, yet it never goes far enough in terms of action, jokes or surprises to make it a satisfying read.
Perhaps one of the better aspects of this issue comes in the last segment hinting at the next storyline, using something that was set up in the Vetis arc. These pages have a better focus on the character, downplaying the humor a good lot in order to give us something a tad more serious. While this was mostly an issue that was a placeholder before the continuation of some of the plot threads, it is nice to see the book try to follow up on said plots.
Another good aspect of the issue comes in the form of Scott Koblish’s art, who does have a highly energetic and fluid style. The panels are filled to the brim with details, yet never so that it becomes unreadable, which makes it look like a sort of controlled mess, just like the titular character, which is fitting. The panel flow is good as well, putting everything at the right angle and the pacing just right. The expressions are also quite exaggerated, yet it does suit the title just fine tonally.
The coloring follows suit, as the high diversity in coloring bring in a chaos that is pretty nice to watch. Val Staples does some good work here, as the high number of panels are all full of these explosive colors, creating a sharp contrast on every page that all clash together in an almost cohesive manner. It’s big, it’s pretty but it’s almost confusing to watch at times.
The Conclusion: Some very solid artwork and colorization cannot save some rather dull conflict and jokes, despite how hard it tries to. It’s not a complete miss, but it’s far from being a hit.
-Hugo Robberts Larivière
*As far as strong jokes goes, I laughed at the black kid punching the White Man in the crotch while shouting ”It’s clobbering time!”. That was a good one.