Review – Super Secret Crisis War: Johnny Bravo #1 (IDW Publishing)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Erik Burnham, Louise Simonson
Artist: Erica Henderson, Derek Charm
Release Date: 23rd July 2014
IDW’s current ‘Super Secret Crisis War’ crossover sees the heroes and villains of several Cartoon Network series’ (Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Lab, etc.) thrust together into what is effectively an inter-dimensional battle royal, and thus far has provided some intriguing (if slightly unspectacular) results.
However, with news that IDW would be publishing a series one-shots designed to showcase the impact the war is having on some of the ‘other’ Cartoon Network characters, there was no way I was going to miss a chance to take a look at a comic featuring perhaps my favourite CN character of them all – the perma-quiffed, bicep-flexing, skirt-chasing Johnny Bravo.
Sadly, in spite of my sizeable Johnny Bravo fandom, there was something about this issue that didn’t work for me. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong, either. I mean, Erik Burnham has a proven track record of bringing beloved cartoon/movie characters to life, as his work on IDW’s Ghostbusters will attest to, but there just seemed to be something missing here from the Johnny Bravo I know and love.
Don’t get me wrong, all of Johnny’s familiar schtick and catchphrases are present, with more “Ohhh mamas” and “Hyahs” than you can shake a stick at, and the comic also features one or two undeniably chuckle-worthy moments along the way. It just for some reason didn’t click for me, especially without the fantastic voice talents and comic timing of Jeff Bennett providing Johnny with his uniquely misogynistic charm.
One thing that most certainly did feel right about the comic however was the fantastic artwork of Erica Henderson, who provided a Johnny Bravo who looked like he had just leapt off the television screen into the pages of this issue. Bold, vibrant colours fill the comic with energy, and most of Johnny’s trademark poses and facial expressions were instantly recognisable to fans of the show.
To summarise, the Johnny Bravo chapter of the ‘Super Secret Crisis War’ has all the hallmarks a winning combination; faithful artwork, a fantastic writer, and a brilliant lead character. However, it just didn’t quite manage to capture the magic of the television show, and came across as more than a little forced and unnatural as a result. Possibly worth a look if you’re a bigtime fan, but not once I can recommend, I’m sad to say.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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