Friday, June 27, 2014
"Hey Buttercup! There's a villainous horde on the way! Toss me some more heroes!"
Behind every great hero is a great villain. More often than not, that villain is soundly defeated at the hands of the hero and time marches on. Sometimes though, that villain gets the idea to team up with other villains against multiple heroes. It's in those moments that things sometimes seem a little bleak for the heroes. It's also those moments that generate massive crossovers in comic universes, such as Super Secret Crisis War #1 from IDW. The book is written by Louise Simonson, illustrated by Derek Charm and lettered by Tom B. Long.
Aku has decided that a few supervillains are better than one, teaming up with Vilgax, Mojo Jojo and Mandark to form The League of Extraordinary Villains. Their goal? To collectively do what they all can't do individually: capture Samurai Jack, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter and Ben 10. Their plan entails a lot of sinister scheming and a plan that's actually not quite as crazy as it sounds. What's more, their machinations spread throughout the Cartoon Network universe, even interfering with the lives of Ed, Edd N' Eddy.
Most crossover events are far from accessible for the average reader, but Simonson capitalizes on the characters being fairly cut and dry to not have to worry about that. All of the characters are either "good" or "bad" and it's readily apparent when you read who's who. That makes Super Secret Crisis War #1 that much more enjoyable because you're not wading through histories of character backstories. And you don't have to be a Cartoon Network savant to fully grasp what's going on in Super Secret Crisis War #1, something that makes the book very accessible. Simonson infuses the script with a great sense of humor and light tone that doesn't bog it down in drama, making for an extremely enjoyable read.
Shows on Cartoon Network definitely have a look to them and Charm captures this look perfectly. That's not to say all shows are illustrated exactly the same way, but Charm brings a unity to all the characters that makes it feel as if they could be. For instance, Ben 10 looks the most "human" of all the characters, but Charm illustrates him in a way that doesn't make him stand out as such. The book is bursting with color as well, used as a way to emphasize action in a way you'd expect to see on the relevant cartoons. Charm's style is extremely effective at reflecting Simonson's pace of the book at that moment, helping to keep the reader engaged.
For a big crossover book, Super Secret Crisis War #1 certainly doesn't feel like one. All the characters involved are familiar faces to even casual readers and their roles are so outlandish that you can't help but feel entertained. Simonson gives the script a lot lightheartedness that reads very quickly and offers pure entertainment. Charm's art is clean and bold, effectively bringing together all the different characters in a way that makes them feel like they've been together for years. Super Secret Crisis War #1 is one of those books that is just a lot of fun to read and will lead to a series (and one-shots) that cover the Cartoon Network universe.
Super Secret Crisis War #1 is in stores now with interiors below.