Sunday, April 4, 2010

COMIC REVIEW: Disney's Hero Squad: Ultraheroes #3 (BOOM! Studios)


Woefully unoriginal and rather unsatisfying

Boom Studios! often gives the impression of preferring quantity over quality. No sooner did they nab the Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck stable of comics than are they churning out a plethora of related titles, including Disney's Hero Squad: Ultraheroes.


Divided into two parts, we first find the Duck Avenger in combat with the Ink Blot over an ultrapod (a sort of infinity fractal à la Mavel Super Hero Squad). Their sparring is mind-numbingly mundane, with the requisite near-misses with subway trains, super powers which permit freezing and melting, and inane chatter.

Now perhaps some comics fans will be content to see this same sort of super-hero clash over and over again like an overweight sports fan slogging down beer and chips as he whiles away the bright summer days watching baseball games. But I for one cannot stand for such lack of creativity in comic books, which are meant to be a creative medium and not a mere repetition of tasks as if they were mimicking a factory job.

The second vignette in the first half of the book has Mickey looking at security tapes then getting captured by a Doctor Octopus doppelgänger. While reviewing the recordings, Mickey's flashlight and pile of papers shift from one side to another, further proof of Boom! releasing a speedily-produced product into marketplace.

The second half of the book is a translated reprint of a story from Europe and is far superior to the beginning of the issue. It goes to show that the Duck characters can be made fascinating and loveable when in the hands of the right craftsmen. However, as soon as this origin story of the Red Bat really gets rolling, it's abruptly cut off by the book's page number limit - extremely frustrating for a children's book. There's a good reason why kid fare like DC Super Friends have one story per issue - because the wee folk want to know the ending!

Overall, the book is a letdown from an art and writing point of view in the first half and from an editing point of view in the second half. Makes one wonder why Boom! even bothers to release individual issues instead of Trade Paperbacks right off the bat.

Part One: Good & Evil
Writer: Alessandro Ferrari
Artist: Antonello Dalena

Part Two: Origin of the Red Bat
Writer: Ivan Saidenberg
Artist: Carlos Edgard Herrero

In stores March 31, 2010

Adam Paige
Senior Reviewer

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