IDW's Weekly World News wraps up its first story arc, "The Irredemption of Ed Anger" with Part 4 this month. When we left Ed Anger in issue 3, he had successfully brought about the end of the world in the form of an angry cloud, due mostly because of Ed's anti-freak campaign. Would Ed be able to put aside his prejudices long enough to save the world? Would this be a story that readers actually want to read past the captions on the cover?
The answer to the first question, I'm not telling. The answer to the second? Absolutely. Alan Robinson, through all four issues, has written a story that is captivating and filled with pop culture goodies, not to mention tongue-in-cheek humor and freaks. Ed Anger's prejudices and grumpiness are a funny version of Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino if the neighbors were the likes of Manigator, Ph.D. Ape, and the ever-popular Bat Boy. The story is ridiculous in all the right ways and filled with smart, witty dialogue.
Alan Robinson's art is just the right combination of cartoonish and realistic, making all of the characters fit perfectly in this little world. And the colors are fantastic. If Weekly World News is junk food for the brain, Tom Smith's colors are the icing squiggles on the chocolate cupcake. These guys make a giant French-speaking cloud pop off the page. Cover duties were shared by Alan Robinson and Jon Reed. Robinson's cover is the standard tabloid-style cover (complete with my favorite caption of the week "Mint Condition! (Until you touch it!)"). I love Robinson's color work on the cover, especially the sparkle in Bat Boy's eyes. Reed's cover (colored by Tom Smith) is a portrait of everyone's favorite redneck freak, Manigator.
The bottom line on this book: read it for the cool story, read it for the freaks, read it for the pop culture Easter eggs. Whatever reason you choose to read this book, read it.