Monday, May 3, 2010

Comics Review: DISNEY'S HERO SQUAD #4 (Boom! Kids, April 2010)

All together now, kiddies: "LET'S LEVEL MOUSETON!" Well, a superheroic subsection of it, at least. The plot of the "Ultramachine" saga finally begins to move again as the Ultraheroes agree to turn over their Ultrapods to the Sinister 7 in exchange for the captured Mickey. This involves flying the 'Pods to the 7's island hideaway, where the contractually obligated double-cross awaits. Problem is, the newly-assembled Ultramachine doesn't work. Gladstone/Cloverleaf appears to turn traitor, confessing that a secret seventh 'Pod lies in Villa Rose. Granted, Clove's been sulking ever since that bout with Pete made him look bad, but would even Gladstone stoop this low? It doesn't matter in the end, as Emil Eagle goes Gladstone "one worse" by finally dropping the pretense and boldly announcing that he's abandoning his allies and going after the seventh 'Pod (the i.d. of which comes as a rather clever surprise) with the aid of his giant robot (which looks more like a tamed Transformer than the Master Cylinder-style gizmo that Emil, Pete, and Prince Penguin used back in MICKEY MOUSE ADVENTURES #12). We get a nice payoff of the running gag about Scrooge's repeated escape attempts, and, praise be, it appears that Eega Beeva is finally going to do some legitimate battle, as he calls for the "Green Ultra-Suit" (whatever that may be) in the chapter's final panel. The Antonello Dalena artwork is just a shade above the South Park Colorforms level, though... and, after walking into a trap to rescue Mickey, why did the Ultraheroes leave him behind as they dashed back to home base?!

There's precious little to say about part two of the relentlessly mediocre "Origin of the Red Bat." Fethry doesn't even get the satisfaction of defeating The Beagle Boys legitimately; his victory over the would-be costume-party robbers (are the B-Boys really that hard up for capers?) is a stone fluke. Scrooge has the fitting reaction when Donald reveals the existence of the "masked duck": a simple "Oh." Darkwing Duck would turn up his sizable beak at the very notion of something like this being HIS origin story. Somehow, I think the upcoming DARKWING mini-series will be much more entertaining...

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