Continuity is one of the primary reasons I do not read superhero comic books. On this topic, I agree with a friend who once told me that the need for charts, graphs and a slide rule to understand “the story thus far” sucks all the joy out of reading a comic.
This failing of mainstream comics is addressed straight off the bat in the first issue of Perhapanauts: Trouble Down Under. And, given that this is the first Perhapanauts story series in over two years, I greatly appreciated the catch up.
In the clever and somewhat silly opening we are introduced to the Blue Team of the Perhapanauts – Arisa (a psychic), Molly (a ghost), MG (techie/dimension leaper), Choopie (drinks blood, loves video games), Big (scientist/strongman) and Karl (scurry mothman). The Perhapanauts being, of course, several teams of paranormal investigators and adventurers working for an organization called Bedlam. They are tasked with keeping “creepy crawlies” out of our dimension and the citizens of planet Earth safe from multidimensional disaster. Thankfully, we are also brought up to speed as to how the Blue Team has found themselves zapped, uh – transported, to the Bedlam facility in Australia (hence, Danger Down Under) following the events of the issues collected in Dark Days (Image, 2009).
Given that much of this issue was exposition and setup for the new series arc, there were not many mind blowing story moments. There were a few new characters introduced – Emo Woody Franson (if you’re going to say it, say it all) and Toshi ICH (Ice Cream Headache) being the two with the most screen time in this issue… Dezago’s writing is snappy, clever and full of tongue-in-cheek whimsy. Rousseau’s art is pretty. Though I have to say – the one thing which drives me nuts about this series is the choice of font for the text associated with a set of reoccurring gremlin characters. Even though we are not supposed to be able to understand what is being said by said characters, it would be nice to be able to see the text without straining my eyes. And, as in the second half of this book – a short titled “Goodbye, Larry” (Larry being Choopie’s gremlin assistant/whipping boy who was killed in Issue #6 collected in Dark Days) – we are supposed to be able to understand what the gremlins are saying due to a translation device, the font choice becomes super-duper annoying.
All-in-all, it is nice to see this series revived, as it is clearly a passion project of writer Todd Dezago and artist Craig Rousseau, who have stuck with the book through several cancellations. I’m looking forward to checking out Issue #2 in December and seeing the team jump into the meat of the storyline they are presenting for us this time around. A promising series, full of silly – it’s definitely one to watch, if not add to your pull list straight away.
Kate Kotler writes the “Geek Girl on the Street Reports” column for Bleeding Cool and is the host of the weekly Comix Chix podcast on GeekNation. You can follow her on Twitter @AdorkableGrrl or check out what else she’s up to by reading the blog on her website.
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