Sunday, January 8, 2017

Slapstick #1 Review

"Slapstick" #1 from Marvel Comics -

    Steven Harmon was just a normal teenager (sort of) whose body was forever changed when he got trapped in a portal to a strange dimension called Dimension X. There Steve's body was transformed, becoming infused with living unstable molecules giving him a clown-like appearance and a toon-like near-indestructibility. Now, having made it back to his home dimension, Steve has taken the name, Slapstick, and turned to mercenary work to pay the bills, and remained hopeful about finding a cure for his appearance...And his lack of having a dingus. Because he'd like his dingus back, thank you. Slapstick uses his toon powers on to do his mercenary gigs with with zany gusto, spitting out looney quips (and bullets), and el ka-bonging anyone who gets in the way of his murderous mallet, Gertie. When Parker Industries has one of its tech shipments stolen, Slapstick takes the case to score some cash and cause some mayhem, but what he doesn't know is that Spider-Man is already on the case, and if they don't kill each other first, they'll have to take on a deadly baddie that may have the key to ending Slapstick's physical problems...Or ending his life.

    Reilly Brown and Fred Van Lente pen this rip-roaring, nutty, adventure, "Slapstick" #1. In all honesty, I picked this comic up on a whim, not really expecting to enjoy it very much, based on the cover; however, I was very pleased to find myself chuckling at Slapstick's antics. It's like watching a mentally unstable, emotionally desperate character from Tiny Toon Adventures fighting crime with homicidal happiness. It's messes with your suspension of disbelief a bit to watch a character so out of place, so cartoon-like, wander around in the 616, fighting alongside heroes like Spider-Man, but Slapstick just fits. It's as if the writers are saying, "Yeah, Civil War II, blah, blah, darkness and grittiness, blah, blah - but these are just comic book characters, so shut up and just enjoy it, fanboy!". I dig that. Quietly, Slapstick has that winning superhero complexity - he hasn't accepted who he is, and is overly focused on who he wants to be, which is who he was, which was who he probably didn't want to be - all the while hiding those serious issues behind Saturday morning cartoon zaniness, with all the blood that those cartoons thankfully omitted. Diego Orlotegui, the artist, seriously has the chops for this book. He does it all - from hilarious comedy panels, to laser-lit, and bullet-filled battle scenes, Orlotegui makes "Slapstick" #1 a fun book to look at. Slapstick is Marvel's answer to The Mask, and he is a whole lot more fun than Deadpool. I'm signing on for more Slapstick.

RATING: 8.5 out of 10. If you want a little mindless fun in your comics experience, then "Slapstick" is for you. If not, stay far away from this one.

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