Review - Danger Club #4

Ever since the Sidekick Lounge in The Tick, sidekicks have been fighting for more recognition for their work. Recognition comes in spades when the actual heroes are gone, leaving the trained sidekicks to pick up the pieces. Alliances are made and betrayals are that much harder, but the sidekicks take the call to action in Danger Club #4 from Image Comics.

The fourth issue is written by Landry Q. Walker, with art by Eric Jones, colors by Michael "Rusty" Drake and Garry Black (page 1) and letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft's Jimmy Betancourt.

Kid Vigilante has a plan. He always has a plan. Right now, that plan is to lead an assault on the President, working alongside Jack, Lady Bug and the others. Their plan is to attack the President's floating skybase, take him out and restore order to the world. Things don't always go according to plan.

The plan is executed in juxtaposition with Magician going on a soul-searching journey. It's a journey that affords him the luxury of transcending dimensions (a la Dr. Strange) to find out what really happened to all the heroes and what will happen to the new guard. Magician was sent on the journey at the behest of another who's revealed at the end of the issue.

The storytelling in the fourth issue is presented as two paths converging at the end in a fairly poignant way. Magician is taking his journey through space while Kid Vigilante and the others are launching their assault, both trips giving the reader valuable insights into the worlds left behind by the newfound heroes. They move in parallel until they meet together at the end in rather tragic fashion.

Magician's story is quite tragic, as he dealt with both his powers at a young age and a family scared of them. Jack is going through his own set of problems, struggling between a sense of duty and a sense of preservation. Kid Vigilante meanwhile is confronted with the responsibilites associated with being a leader. All play their part extremely well, each character reacting differently to the new responsibilities thrust upon them.

Jones' art continues to excel, showcasing a bruised battery of heroes. All the pages featuring Magician are quite ethereal, taking the reader along with him on his journey. Seeing a bloodied Kid Vigilante really hits home the idea that the kids are playing for serious stakes in the series, helping to accent the importance of their mission.

The colors by Drake are equally as potent as the art istelf, adding in flourishes of red and orange to underscore the violence of the issue. Sure, there's a lot of blood, but it blends in well with the surrounding environments and layouts, adding a dimension of reality to the book.

Danger Club is a very deep and complex comic when you think about it. You've got sidekicks playing like grown-ups, led by Kid Vigilante and this sense of duty. The President sees the sidekicks as nothing more than kids, kids who can be turned and destroyed without a second thought. That dynamic is where Walker succeeds most in the issue (and series), by making the characters ones with conviction. The series continues to impress and should be on everyone's pull list.

Danger Club #4 is in stores October 3.