Review by Kristopher Johnson
The Misadventures of Wonderboy
Issues 1 and 2
Created by: Dave Wheeler
Art by: Samir Berrett
Teenagers and superpowers are always a good idea right? You got the hormones and all types of real world pressures, mix in a little bit of super human ability, slap on a big ole bad guy target on your back and now your life is a huge adventurous double life that could get very…messy. I’ve never simultaneously gone to high school and had superpowers, but even though comics and movies make it look cool, it seems like a really big headache. It doesn’t look all bad though. Especially for our protagonist Dave, who learns he has powers at the most awkward moments, and tries to balance that and his life as a regular guy.
We start with a young Dave playing on a sidewalk in what could be assumed as a dream. He proceeds to touch a shiny, beeping pyramid that explodes in his face. We are then taken to present day with Dave sleeping and his alarm clock beeping. He wakes up “alarmed” (haha, get it?) and rushes to get ready only to miss the school bus. He’s sent to detention for tardiness, and comes across his crush, Katie, in the hallway. She nervously asks him to the Sadie Hawkins Dance, but all he can see is her skeleton and weird hypnotic lines. He excuses himself to the bathroom, and looks at his skeleton in the mirror. He gets himself together and goes back to accept her request, while accidentally melting his shoes to the floor by heat ray. He falls and his friends, including his homeboy Slice, make sure he’s okay. He rushes for P.E. and runs to the gym with super speed. He busts through the doors and they fly off their hinges. Meanwhile, Slice is making toast (I see what they did there) in Home Economics, and the gym doors break through the wall, and also a gas pipe. When his toast pops out, the room explodes. Dave wants to save him, but is restrained by the paramedics. They wheel Slice out on a gurney, and he only suffered a bump on the head. He looks terrified as he’s clutching the toaster, and then disappears. Dave returns home and ponders about his day, while mindlessly floating above his bed. Elsewhere, a traumatized Slice is curled up in an alley with his toaster. A Nazi Tyrannosaurs Rex, aka Hateosaurus Rex, comes up to him and says he can get revenge. Concurrently, Dave is embracing his new powers. He even made himself a mask and designed a signature shirt before Katie arrives for the dance. Beneath the streets, Slice is being experimented on by H. Rex. Dave and Katie are having fun dancing, when Slice breaks through the wall with a new suit and the toaster on his head. Dave suits up as Wonderboy and they fight. Slice reveals his identity, but says he is now Captain Toast. Wonderboy hits a blow and CT is flung through a wall. Now here comes Hateosaurus! He wants to take over the world and take out Wonderboy for stealing his power. WB gives him a good punch and carries him through the roof and into the sky. He drops him and pushes Hateosaurus back down and through the gym. Wonderboy emerges from the rubble. Jump to 3 months later, Dave flies to school on the 1st day of the new school year. Somewhere unknown, he and other superheroes are seen on surveillance, as a very angry Hateosaurus Rex watches. Surrounded by shadowy figures, Slice puts on his toaster, and declares they will not be coming alone next time.
This is an interesting comic. It definitely has a lot of potential. I’m a fan of the friend vs. friend conflict. It creates a moral strife within the protagonist, and usually the antagonist as well. Dave seemed to have no problem fighting his friend Slice after he asked him to stop, which is a good sign. That lets me know that Dave understands that there is a job that needs to be done, no matter the enemy. We have yet to see Slice question his actions, but since these were only the first 2 issues, there’s plenty of time for that possibility.
While the storyline kept my attention, there were a few distractions for me as a reader. Mainly, the pacing of the story was too fast. There are a few pages with giant panels and not enough speech balloons or narratives. A few here and there are fine, but I found myself backtracking to make sure I didn’t miss anything very often. For some of the big panels, a third person narrative would have helped my visualization. Even more panels would have given me a more fluid feeling. I have always been a visual learner, so the more I see, the more I understand. There’s a lot going on in this comic (or at least it feels like it), so I wouldn’t worry about it feeling slow if there were more details. If someone told me they had a comic where a freaking dinosaur is trying to take over the world with a teenage boy who has a toaster as a helmet, I’d freak out in the best way. Plus, the 2nd issue left off on a great note: More unknown superheroes and villains that I totally want to know more about!
I want to note on a few inconsistencies that stuck out to me. In the scene where Dave heat rayed his shoes to floor, not only did his friends not mention anything about it after he hit the floor, but I doubt that his shoes weren’t thick enough for his feet not to feel like they were on fire. Also, the Hateosaurus Rex’s accent goes back and forth from English to German, which catches me off guard. Speaking of H.Rex, I would also love to know how he and Captain Toast got away after the fight without being caught/seen. Authorities would be all over this kind of thing!
The art in this comic was indeed good, but still inconsistent. There is a cool section in the back with sketches of the comic from over the years, and they are awesome! In the comic itself, there are a few pages in the first issue where the styling is different from the previous. Some pages have heavier inking weight than others, and don’t take perspective into account, which makes it hard for the reader to tell what’s going on. Perspective is very important for black and white art if there aren’t other colors to assist. Another little thing I noticed was there are different fonts for the lettering throughout the comic, and several typos. Lettering can be tough when it’s a part of molding the sense of a character, and the mood of the story. Nothing wrong with keeping it simple.
I do have to mention that when Wonderboy threw down the dinosaur from the sky, I imagined it as a Brock Lesnar ‘F5’ or a John Cena ‘Attitude Adjustment,’ which are basically moves where the opponent is thrown off of the shoulders. The creator is also shares my love of wrestling, so it fits perfectly!
So all in all, the comic was a bit confusing to follow. I would have loved to have seen more details, less unrealistic plot holes, and a consistent art style. But as I mentioned earlier, the potential is there, and I have a feeling the comics will improve. It looks like there is something awesome coming. Like an all-out superhero/villain battle royale?? I hope so, and can’t wait to meet these new characters. So until then, enjoy issues 1 and 2 of The Misadventures of Wonderboy!
Kristopher (yes, that is her real name) writes indie comic reviews for endoftheuniversecomics.com. Now residing in Minneapolis, she went to UNC-Charlotte majoring in Psychology and Becoming an Adult. She enjoys singing, drawing, learning guitar with her tiny hands, cheesy puns, and playing video games.