"On The Lam"
Writer: George M. Dondero
Pencils & Inks: Colin Adams
Publisher: Moronik Comics
Plot: The book opens with two young boys fleeing through the woods, and one of these children is covered head to toe in filth, and what's more he uses this lack of personal hygiene to defend himself from a wide assortment of attacks directed his way by a young girl who is using wild life as her minions. As their flight toward the safety of town continues, the dirty young man discovers that his companion also has a talent that would earn him the label of a bad kid.
Comments: Take Pigpen from the Peanuts strips and recast him as a somewhat angry young action hero, and you have a pretty good grasp on the star of this series. Then take this action hero and add several other well established elements of the action movie genre, as we have our hero being pursued by an evil organization with a seeming unlimited supply of threats to throw against our hero, plus a sidekick character who tags alongside our hero looking rather useless until the moment arrives where this seeming dead weight character gets the opportunity to prove how resourceful they are. Now truth be told this opening issue isn't going to set the comic book world on fire, as it's not really blazing a new trail, but rather it looks to be quite comfortable making use of well established plot developments. It also manages to invoke one of my personal pet peeves in that in a bid to impress readers with how many tricks our hero is able to effectively employ to defend himself, the writing failed to build up the threats that are coming after our hero, and as such, there was never really a moment where I was concerned that the hero was in real danger, though I will concede that the final danger was certainly a step in the right direction. Still, I did find myself rather enjoying the array of disgusting attacks that the writing came up with for its main hero, as they nicely link to the character's visual. This issue also has itself a great little moment where the sidekick character takes a moment to show his darker side, as he comes to realize that the kid who has spent the issue berating him and bossing him around is in a vulnerable position, and he decides to take advantage of this opportunity. Also while this opening issue doesn't really touch on the reason why these kids are being pursued, I've received a bit of a heads up on this matter, and it sounds like a very clever premise. A pretty promising start out of the gate, and it's nice to read a book that has gotten off to such a rousing start.
I have to give Colin Adams full marks for this issue's art as it's really quite impressive, with a wonderful sense of energy about it, plus even more importantly a clear vision, as there wasn't a single moment where I found myself struggling to figure out what was going on visually. The visual design of Dirtboy was also a lot of fun, with numerous fun details like the comb that is entangled in his hair, or the wonderfully disgusting moment of the mess of goo being pulled out of this same nest of hair. I also enjoyed the various animals attackers that are sent after the fugitive heroes, as there's something quite interesting about the little detail that has all these creatures looking like they've been stitched back together. The art also turns in some solid shadow and light work on the scene where Dirtboy questions the other kid about what he did to the attention of the people chasing him. The art's delivery of Dirtboy's big attacks are also nicely done, as I loved the panel where he knocks those birds out of the sky.
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