By: Nick Spencer (Writer), Steve Lieber (Artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (Color Artist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Ron Wimberly (Cover Artist)
“I guess it was kinda like the last time after all” (Boomerang, page 17).
When the first lines of the story begins “doesn’t it feel like we’ve been standing here a long time?” I find myself with mixed feelings. One, I have to laugh in spite of myself, because it is a very metatextual self-deprecating joke. On the other hand, it’s upsetting that such a joke has to be made in the first place. It takes some time to remember what exactly the storyline was four months ago, from which this scene picks up.
In some ways, however, the exact storyline isn’t really important. This series really shines when there’s a focus on one man, Boomerang, and the rest of the team, indeed even the rest of the villains in the Marvel comics universe as well as the overall plot, are all basically in service to exploring Boomerang as a character. In this issue, Boomerang has to face his teammates and bluff his way back into their good graces, face the Owl and convince him to bankroll a new job, and pretty much pull off the same job from the beginning of the series. This allows Boomerang to engage in some truly humorous dialogue, of that “squirmy, awkward” variety. (Hmm. “Squawkward?”) One of my favorites was when the reader is given opportunity to see inside Boomerang’s head when he catches himself from misspeaking; it results in a virtual stream of consciousness as sentences cascade behind his silhouette in free association.
But you know? In some other ways, the exact storyline really is important. Characterization aside, this is a heist story, and such stories rely on very specific details. It’s awesome that some of these details are left for the artist, with comics being a visual medium of course– in particular, the double-page spread of the target lair is funny. But is it really informative? Again, it actually tell us more about Boomerang, since this is a visualization of his point-of-view and narrative, and less about the actual plot, since the things pictured must be exaggerated, metaphorical, or just made up.