"The Tragic Marker"
Writer: Dann Slott;Roger Fredicks
Artists: Philip Moy, Dave Tanguay(c);Chris Cook(p), Mike DeCarlo(i), Dave Danguay(c)
The first story in Powerpuff Girls at once satires educational type public service messages and relates a clever story about spelling. You heard me. Spelling. Mr. Slott employs several spelling problems some young children can have to limit the ever peppy actions of Blossom, Buttercup and Bubbles but without dumbing down the characters. These are problems in the technique of learning not the characters’ intellects.
The villain is a brilliant creation that takes advantage of the Powerpuffs’ youth and inexperience. In this way, she succeeds where other of the Townsville miscreants overtly fail. Once the girls’ lick their problems—through teamwork, naturally—the villain earns a painful comeuppance.
The artwork by Philip Moy mimics the art style of Craig McCracken to a T-E-E. It’s extremely different from his Legion of Super-Heroes work. However, he still manages to be versatile within the framework of that style.
His art brings out very subtle emotion in the girls. Rather than display typical depths, he must show reluctance, difficulty and confusion. These aspects he renders through the body language and the expression of the Powerpuffs. Mr. Moy also places the girls in the usual position occupied by Mojo. Due to their learning weakness, Bubbles becomes fricasseed and charred. While humorous in viewing, the scene also shows how tough these girls really are.
The second story is another terrific Mojo Jojo caper, and Mr. Fredricks comes up with an inspired, original science-fantasy plot. The secret to life however is gum, and Monty Python’s Flying Circus becomes the temporary bane to the girls pursuit of justice. Not only is the plot premise fascinating and fun, the girls beat Mojo through psychology not powerful physique. The artwork here is somewhat simpler than the first story but nonetheless eye-catching and enjoyable.
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