Review – Misfit City #4 (BOOM! Studios)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios (BOOM! Box imprint)
Writers: Kiwi Smith and Kurt Lustgarten
Artwork: Naomi Franquiz, Brittany Peer (colours)
Release Date: 16th August 2017

Misfit City, BOOM! Studios’ glorious love letter to The Goonies continues its impressive momentum this week as the mystery of Black Mary’s treasure deepens.

Co-writers Kiwi Smith and Kurt Lustgarten make this an easy series to enjoy, with some genuinely likeable protagonists and an almost tangible sense of adventure throughout.  The more we get to know the ‘Misfits’, the more invested in them we become, and even as they start to fracture and drift apart here, the strength of the characters has us willing them to resolve their differences and keep moving forwards together.

The dialogue flows naturally, although there are a couple of references that feel a little clunky and shoehorned-in, and while there’s a sizeable amount of exposition within these pages, the charm and humour of the script prevents it from ever feeling like a chore. Tensions aside, we’re treated to yet another bout of top quality investigation from the ‘Misfits’ as they decipher an ancient riddle and do a little bit of puzzle-solving before finding themselves walking headlong into yet another eyebrowraising cliffhanger to end the issue.

We’re now four issues in, I think I can comfortable say that I’m absolutely in love with the artwork of Naomi Franquiz and Brittany Peer.  The character designs are fantastic, and Franquiz does a great job of making sure everyone is suitably expressive and animated throughout.  There’s not a lot of quote-unqoute “action” in this latest chapter, but it still manages to feel like a dynamic issue with some rapid-fire, cinematic layouts and a real sense of forward momentum to the pages.  Peer’s work is also of the same high quality that we should expect from the series so far, managing to effortlessly tick the ‘all-ages’ box without ever having to become unnecessarily bright and garish in the process.

What I’m enjoying a lot about the series is the fact that its creators aren’t leaning too heavily into the meta nature of their story (a Goonies-esque adventure in a town where a Goonies-esque film was shot), and are instead letting the mystery and adventure stand on its own two feet.  In spite of all the twists and turns along the way, this still feels like a character-driven series, and – as I’ve mentioned before – the realistic banter and camaraderie makes the ‘Misfits’ seem like a group of friends that everyone would want to be a part of.

So then, another fun and exciting issue for a series that seems to be ramping up to full speed again after a brief dip in pace last time out.  Humorous dialogue, an intriguing mystery and some brilliantly rendered characters help make Misfit City a series that comes highly recommended for anyone with at least a little adventure in their heart.

Rating: 4.5/5.

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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