Review - Dragonfly and Dragonflyman #1 (@AhoyComicMags)

"The Dragonfly and I arrive first, with only minutes to work before they get here."

Superheroes are a dime a dozen these days. What makes them so successful is their ability to stoke the imagination of the reader. In Dragonfly and Dragonflyman #1 from Ahoy! Comics, that imagination is stoked in a slightly different way. "Dragonfly and Dragonflyman" is written by Tom Peyer, illustrated by Peter Krause, colored by Andy Troy and lettered by Rob Steen, "Not Required Reading: The K-T Boundary" is written by Matt Brady and illustrated by Joe Orsak, "Franklin vs. the Minotaur" is written by Tyrone Finch and illustrated by Shawn Crystal and "British Sports Explained" is written by Kek-W and illustrated by Joe Orsak.

This prequel to The Wrong Earth follows gritty vigilante The Dragonfly and his innocent, campy counterpart Dragonflyman, before they became trapped on each other's Earths! Can two versions of the satanic Devil-Man corrupt both of their souls? EXTRA: Prose fiction and fact, beautifully illustrated.

Peyer understands that there's something of a sense of humor in the idea of people in spandex being put on pedestals as heroes which is what makes "Dragonfly and Dragonflyman" work so exceptionally well. The issue plays out like a normal capes and tights book, with the main characters investigating a series of murders seemingly at the hands of a villain known as Devilman. Peyer injects the story with a ton of self-deprecation, primarily through the musings of Dragonflyman as a sidekick realizing his lot in life. There's also a sense of reality in the story, in that Peyer grounds the adventures in the mundane of things like fantasy baseball and finance meetings. "Franklin vs. the Minotaur" is a pretty enjoyable take on the concept of the Minotaur and labyrinth, while "Not Required Reading: The K-T Boundary" feels like a humorous look at dinosaur fossilization and "British Sports Explained" is a silly take on the birth of some of the most famous sports today.

Krause's illustrations aptly capture the zaniness of the case the main characters are investigating. Dragonfly and Dragonflyman are appropriately rendered in a way that pays homage to the insect that serves as the inspiration for their personas. The overall tone of the book is one of a different era, in that Krause renders the settings as something that feels at home in the 1930s; it's a decision that adds a sense of nostalgia to the issue. The panels are laid out in a way that adds to the pacing of the story, as the insets and overlays are balletic in their presentation. Troy does a solid job on coloring as well, giving the book plenty of depth through bold colors. Orsak's illustration of sedimentary layers is effective at stoking the reader's imagination about fossils, while Orsak's seemingly historic take on the English is simultaneously funny and Crystal's Minotaur feels contemporary.

Overall, Dragonfly and Dragonflyman #1 is a pretty entertaining look at superheroes that would make Ben Edlund proud. Dragonfly and Dragonfly man are two heroes who sound as outlandish as the actual case that they're pursuing ends up being. Peyer's script is slick in its saire, while Brady, Finch and Kek-W all offer similarly biting takes on their respective topics. Krause's illustrations have the right amount of superhero to them--a contrast to the more "realistic" illustrations of Orsak and Crystal. Dragonfly and Dragonflyman #1 is a lot of fun though and is accessible to anyone and everyone.

Dragonfly and Dragonflyman #1 is available now.