Well, volume 2 so far. This review covers issues 6, 7, and 8. Available now on Comixology.
Published by Action Lab Danger Zone. Written by Louis Southard. Art by Ben Matsuya. Colored by Roshan Kurichiyanil. Cover by Craig Rousseau. Lettered by Buddy Beaudoin. Edited by Nicole D’Andria.
Yesterday’s review was all about volume one, so let’s expand upon this world. Master Molecule, Spirit King, and Nite-Man continue their villainous ways. At this point they’re so successful one has to ask, why? Is it bumbling fate, are they more powerful together than apart? Is someone pulling the strings from the shadows? Or is it just their turn in the spotlight? As the world gets richer and the characters become more well rounded the questions grow.
Most of all I love the introduction of the Skull Commander and what it means to Southard’s universe. Comics have broken apart characters to figure out what makes them tick for decades now. But this comic asks a new question. What makes them live? What makes these people want to get out of bed every morning. The old friendship between Master Molecule and Skull Commander is introduced, given importance in the story, provides exposition and character history, and builds to huge moments. I tore through the house with my tablet, screaming for someone else to read these comics.
Everyone has a best friend, even villains. Someone who knows your weaknesses, your mistakes, and you know theirs as well. An unspoken bond usually exists. An understanding that no matter what happens in life these secrets will never be revealed. Even people who aren’t good people have a buddy to get drunk with. Hatch schemes, say terrible things about other people, believe that you can accomplish anything together.
And usually, as that progresses, someone takes things too far. An act, a comment, an excuse. Something that causes the other to pull away. The other sees the road ahead and wants no part of that journey. Master Molecule split off from Skull Commander years ago. They are at different points in their super villainy now. But did MM make the right choice? Does he have at least the moral high ground? A strange thing to say about a bad guy but there are degrees to comic evil.
Most of us reading comics have lost touch with the best friend from high school, college, or work. Things change over life but it’s always odd when a person we were once close to is now unfamiliar. Even odder is when that person shows back up. Let’s pick it up right where we left off. It’s the good old times again. Remember how important we used to be to each other and then…. here’s the agenda. There always is an agenda. I need a job, I need money, I need an alibi, something.
Watching Master Molecule fall into these same situations, granted he’s in a ship above the city and most of us are on the ground, gives this whole series a reader connection lacking in so many other comics today. It’s “easy” to write about a character that’s super, but a more difficult task to make that same character human.