Review – Misfit City #3 (BOOM! Studios)


Publisher: BOOM! Studios (BOOM! Box imprint)
Writers: Kiwi Smith and Kurt Lustgarten
Artwork: Naomi Franquiz, Brittany Peer (colours)
Release Date: 12th July 2017

After a near-death experience led to some online humiliation last time out, our lovable band of Misfits take a moment to catch their breath here before their investigation into the mystery of Captain Denby’s treasure man takes a rapid, unexpected detour into the realm of the supernatural.

This is a slower-paced, dialogue-driven issue from co-writers Kiwi Smith and Kurt Lustgarten, and, aside from the aforementioned supernatural diversion (and one hell of a cliff-hanger), provides us with a welcome change of pace after the frantic, life-or-death scramble of issue two.  Thankfully, Kiwi and Kurt have created such an intensely likeable group of protagonists that even the slower issues still crackle with charm and humour.

Karma steps out of the shadows a little in this latest issue, getting some great lines of dialogue and serving as the main driving force into the next part of the story.  We also get to find out a little more about the romantic relationships of various members of the group, from meeting Ed’s ex Dylan to revelling into the blossoming crush between Wilder and Mace’s brother Todd.  It’s all enjoyable and inoffensive stuff, but provides some extra depth to the Misfits while subtly pushing the all-ages adventure story forward at the same time.

With a dearth of action in the issue, the artistic partnership of Naomi Franquiz and Brittany Peer still manage to keep the pages interesting.  As I’ve mentioned before, Naomi’s character designs are top-notch, but more than just outfits and hairstyles, we’re actually starting to get a much better feel for the specific mannerisms and posture of each member of the group as the story evolves.  There are some great stand-alone moments, like Wilder’s excited infatuation with Todd and Karma’s casual yoga stylings, and there’s a real sense of fun and adventure in the overall aesthetic of the series.

Peer may be the unsung hero of this latest issue however, with some brilliant use of colour throughout the course of the issue.  Whether it’s the lighting in the opening car scene, the bright energy of Mace’s band rehearsal, or the fantastically spooky closing pages, Peer does a stellar job here, keeping everything eye-catching and enjoyable even where there isn’t necessarily a lot happening from a storyline progression point of view.

Things definitely kick into a higher gear at the end of the issue (and then some), and while the Goonie similarities are still undoubtedly there, it’s great to see the creative team cementing their own storyline direction and unique style, keeping Misfit City feeling more like a homage than a flat-out imitation.

So, while it’s undoubtedly a slower issue, the charm, humour and sense of adventure that has typified the series to this point is still very much present here.   As a single issue it may feel like a bit of a dip, but as part of an overall narrative, this is a much-needed reduction in pace.  And with a lot of different storyline threads heading for a dramatic intersection (including that cliff-hanger), it’s obvious that we’ll be back to that fast-paced, quick-witted adventure story again in no time.

Rating: 4/5.

If you want to find out more about MISFIT CITY, make sure to check out our interview with the creative team by CLICKING HERE.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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