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In this issue we’re immediately thrown into the action with the opening featuring a character getting their head blown off (and at close range, making it even more cringe-worthy). Who does that in the opening of their second issue? Danger Club, apparently, as well as several other moments both awesome and clichéd. Unfortunately, these do not always go together…
All the superheroes in the world are gone thanks to an extraterrestrial threat that may still be coming to earth. Now the duty of saving the world is left up to the sidekicks – if their world doesn’t kill them all first.
First, despite being an obvious gimmick that every issue is going to have, I have to say I love the opening page of this issue. The first page, like the last issue’s, has an old-school comic cover art style and features all of the sidekicks that are going to be seen or mentioned in the issue. This is a great if unnecessary start and a very unique one. There didn’t seem to be much thought put into the basic concepts of the series, instead just a lot of love for it’s predecessors. Be it a rather blatant adoration. The idea for the series is your basic end-of-the-world scenario, the grit, realism and cursing mimic the tone of Kick-Ass and the protagonist, Kid Vigilante, is the spitting image of Robin. While the parallels don’t stop here, neither do the spurt of extra creativity peppered in around the clichés. The basic concept of the series is end of the world, but the tension rises when you know the world is turning in on itself Watchmen style with only sidekicks to protect it. Kid Vigilante carries the series singlehandedly, with help from multiple shocking moments in this issue. So while the basics and many other details heavily mimic other acclaimed series, not only does it do it well, it also offers more.
The shocking moments of this issue are what make it stand out. While it’s predecessor only had one at the end, there are multiple moments in this issue. More is revealed about Kid Vigilante, the corruption of the city… and of course there’s the character getting their head blown off almost immediately after the issue starts. This is after a long-winded speech by the American Spirit which is pretty entrancing, especially with the accompanying artwork from Eric Jones. Watching the American Spirits wrinkled face up close is enough to make me grimace as I think back to Odin Quincannon. I hope to see more of him.
Most of these shocking, impactful moments are made all the more powerful with the same technique used in the last issue. There are whole pages without dialogue. Again, like last issue, never do these pages feel like a waste of space. A lot is impacted on the reader, and this issue feels like even more happens than the last, despite the many moments without dialogue.
There are also several pages with a recurring theme involving a heart monitor that was done very well and added to the already emotional panels. This seemed like an advantage the pages needed since going with no dialogue was not an option.
Also, the transitions are all smooth in this issue despite not using any dialogue boxes to establish the different settings. The color schemes between Kid Vigilante’s hide-out and a robot battle going on in Micro-Tokyo are very different, and it’s immediately recognizable when there is a transition. In the first issue, the transitions between multiple battles had a chaotic feel that the issue needed. In this issue, the fight, while smoothly transitioned too and written well around Kid Vigilante’s dilemma, actually didn’t interest me just because I got so invested in Kid Vigilante’s character.
This is part of the only real negative of the issue. Kid Vigilante is by far the most interesting and is who the story revolves around. Unfortunately, when the action cuts away from him and, in this particular issue, goes to Yoshimi, a deadly engineer with a brutish attitude, I can fully enjoy her when I know Kid Vigilante is waiting in the wings to continue the “important” parts of the story. Still, the series has already accomplished a great feat by making me care so much about what one particular character does. You won’t forget his name after this issue, assuming you didn’t already after the great first issue.
One nit-pick is how the world is breezed over in this issue. We visit a futuristic city called Micro-Tokyo which is not explained. It feels like in the midst of the upcoming huge battle, readers will not be given time to grow attached to the world the characters are living in. Hopefully, more areas are explored in the world and thoroughly explained so we care more if any end up getting destroyed.
Danger Club is a bloody love letter written to acclaimed titles like Watchmen and Kick-Ass that should not be missed. This issue mimics everything well and it all comes together in a shocking story – unless you’re slightly squeamish and extremely curse-sensitive. The only real problem, other than the nit-picking and over-achieving main protagonist, is that the ending of this issue does not link back to it’s opening, making me all the more anxious for the next issue.