Reviewer: Tim Stevens
Story Title: Countdown to a Miscount
Written by: Dan Slott
Pencilled by: Paul Pelletier
Inked by: Rick Magyar
Colored by: Wil Quintana
Lettered by: Dave Lanphear
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
First off, yay for Doorman getting his moment in the sun. And that just goes to show you how easily I can be persuaded to like a character if I like their costume. I am a bit of a, how do you say, costume whore? Anyway…
I find that this book is at its worst when it goes for outright parody. That’s why I was less than thrilled when the book opened with a blatantly skewed approach to Identity Crisis. I’ve been reading jokes about Identity Crisis online for months and most of them were funnier than this. Including my insistence that Nightwing is the real killer (funny because it is so true).
The book is much better when it generally points out/mocks themes in comics or just goes straight for humor. Case in point, Flatman’s coming out. It is pure “important issue” storytelling played so damn straight, it has got to make you smirk. You can almost hear the “Next, on a very special episode of Blossom” voiceover guy in the background. Even better is when it banks hard into pure humor with Mr. Immortal’s “I’m Homo Supreme” announcement. When Slott can write stuff this funny, he shouldn’t bother with the cheap tricks like that first scene.
Back when I read the first issue, I said the key to the book’s success would be if it could properly balance the humor and the darkness that Slott was employing. The second and third issue, I thought did so rather nicely. In this installment, however, I felt that mix was off again. In the first issue, it was too dark with the humor seeming a bit tacked on. Here, it is the opposite situation. In both cases, however, the issue felt a bit disjointed because of it.
Still, all in all, it was an enjoyable effort. It was very different than most books on the shelves and I always appreciate at least trying to do that sort of thing. There was strong character work overall, some great jokes (the aforementioned “Homo Supreme”, the return of “I read it on the internet”, Maelstrom’s undoing), and Pelletier never fails to deliver the goods on art. This might not measure up to the previous two installments of this mini, but I definitely recommend the whole thing.
Oh, and how about that ending?