MINOR THREATS #2
The Stickman has done the unthinkable and murdered Kid Dusk, the sidekick to Twilight City's premier crime-fighting vigilante the Insomniac. While the Insomniac's superhero teammates are tearing Twilight apart, turning it into a terrifying police state--hoping to find the Stickman before an unhinged Insomniac does. D-list, blue-collar, costumed criminals have formed an uneasy alliance to hunt down and kill the Stickman themselves in a desperate attempt to end the chaos!
C-list villains shouldn’t be this interesting, C-Listers are for comedy relief, a quick pounding, and a pithy wisecrack from the hero taking them down. That’s what conventional wisdom says. Well, Jordan Blum and Patton Oswalt say screw conventional wisdom. This second issue continues to be an absolutely astoundingly deep examination of the C-list villain/anti-hero, a viewpoint expressed through a brilliant combination of emotionally evocative writing and stellar art from Scott Hepburn, Ian Herring, and Nate Piekos to communicate those emotions. The first-person narrative switches from Playtime to the character of Brain Tease in this issue. Our band of misfits is on the hunt for Stickman and Braintease seems to know how to find him. It’s an absolutely wonderful balance of caped nonsense with writing that taps deeply into the psychological core and motivations of the central characters that you find yourself forgetting that these are the losers, the ones the heroes dribble around as practice before facing the main event. Blum and Oswald make almost every single character they
focus on in this ragtag group relatable on some level and that’s a hell of an achievement. We get to understand the broken and violent childhood Brain Tease comes from, when his powers kicked in and how that has defined him as a person. He’s a loser but a sympathetic one thanks to the emotional depth of the script and how the art team captures the emotions of the characters on panel.
We follow the team as they head to an upmarket club for supers to confront the Stickman, a place losers like them don’t normally get to go and mayhem ensues. it’s fascinating how the heroes are the ones committing the violence, there’s a commentary there on the nature of heroes analogue is very obvious and the creative team leans into it which really sells the vengeful hero bit. There’s some confrontation as Playtime realizes Brain Tease’s ego has put them in jeopardy despite the team’s efforts the issue ends with consequences for one of the crew because of it.
Scott Hepburn brings the script to life and aside from the very detailed splashes and uber violence which is bloody and spectacular, Hepburn does an incredible job of showing how a a cerebral character like Braintease’s power works with a brilliantly simple use of white outlines. The range on display is superb, there are supers fighting, gladiator-style battles but also scenes riding the bus. Rapid movement is dynamic but you can also read the emotions on the character’s faces perfectly. Ian Herring’s colors make everything pop from Brain Tease’s purple helmet to the blood spatter in bright arterial red (which there’s no shortage of) and letterer Nate Piekos gets to have some real fun with the sound effects. The clever use of yellow in white spaces around the panels to show the switch between past and present is a great narrative guide that always lets you know where you are as the issue moves between past and present. This comic continues to demonstrate the heart that’s gone into it from the wonderful spin on corner box art on the cover of the issue to the way it holds your eye page after page and makes you root for the bad guys!
Minor Threats #2 continues to prove it's a major comic with this second issue. Blum and Oswalt's superb script focuses on a singular member of the crew for each issue while still furthering the storyline in a meaningful way is elevated by gloriously colorful, detailed, and stylized art that captures the nature of cape comics perfectly as it explores the viewpoint of the C-class villains it's about.
MINOR THREATS #2: You’ll Find Us in the Club
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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