Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Comics Review: CHIP AND DALE'S RESCUE RANGERS #6 (May 2011, kaboom!)

As Launchpad might have put it, "I hope these readers can handle a U-Turn!" Part two of "Stranger Danger" actually reads like nothing of the sort, instead breaking into two distinct micro-adventures that have nothing to do (at least, as of the moment) with the "anti-Rangers" introduced in C&DRR #5. First, the Rangers foil a museum robbery by The Bentbeak Brothers, a pair of kleptomaniac crows, in a sequence that could have been ripped straight out of the TV series' more light-hearted casebook (if the latter had included 12-minute stories, that is). Then, after a mute, mysterious client appeals to the Rangers for aid, the gang is off to infiltrate the dreaded Ninja Porcupines to save a kidnapped girl... or so they are led to believe. The throughline for all this -- if micron-thick throughlines are capable of being woven, of course -- is Dale's vague sense of disquiet, which appears to stem from his memories of the fate of Foxglove's father Eagleclaw in C&DRR #2. It's good to see Ian Brill trying to inject some legitimate darkness into Dale's normally sunny soul; this is the kind of "character-stretching" that I have always hoped that this title might bring us on a regular basis. Perhaps Dale is dreading the moment -- which doesn't appear to have arrived as of yet -- when he will have to tell Foxy of her Dad's demise. Since Foxy is featured on the cover of C&DRR #7, Dale may soon get that unwelcome opportunity.

The artwork in this issue is substantially better than the art in #5. Particularly noteworthy is the stylized, sharp-edged manner in which The Ninja Porcupines' activities are pictorially introduced to us. It's almost a cross between Rescue Rangers and Batman: The Animated Series. The extra polish gives #6 a touch of class that the last couple of issues of this title have seemed to lack, but where is this adventure going, exactly? Are the Danger Rangers sufficiently uninteresting that we can afford to take a one-episode "vacation" from their battle against our heroes? If so, then why create them in the first place? I still get the feeling that Ian Brill is going through the motions with these characters. Perhaps, once the present arc(s?) is (are?) completed, kaboom! can call upon the services of a "Ranger-centric" writer -- several of which I would be more than happy to call to their attention. This assumes, of course, that the title has any sort of future...

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