Danger Club #5 Review
Danger Club is an easy comic to pass on the shelf. It's got superheroes. It's got violence and it aims to be edgy. It's all stuff we see time and time again in the creator owned comic-book scene in the form of books like Hell Yeah, Irredeemable, Invincible and, of course, the book that started it all, Kick-Ass.
What could be all too easily palmed off as another overly violent super hero "what-if" is actually a thought provoking and original story. Danger Club is a series that boldly combines Silver Age comic book sensibilities with Kick-Ass style violence to great effect. It's a wonderful homage to superheroes that both embraces and transcends the genre.
If you're tired of reading the same old stories from the big two, then this is the book for you. It's intelligent, subtle and needs to be read twice before all of the plot intricacies begin to click into place. At this point, it probably goes without saying but make sure you've read the previous issues before diving into Danger Club #5.
As in previous installments, Danger Club #5 begins with what can only be described as a fake vintage comic cover, drawn by series artist Eric Jones. This month's instalment features The American Spirit facing off against Dr. Tik-Tok and his army of Nazi Dino-men. It's a delightfully ridiculous way to start such an emotionally loaded issue. It also sheds a bit more light on series super-villain The American Spirit, now turned President of the global United States. This page really proves that a picture is worth a thousand words and I found myself constantly flipping back to it.
What follows is a tight 21 pages that deals with the aftermath of the death of Kid Vigilante from the previous issue. Kid Vigilante's death casts a strong shadow over issue #5 especially since we're led to believe his part in the story is not yet over. That's not to say that his death was without impact, as reiterated by the beautifully yet gruesome image of the doomed hero getting shot in the head on page two. Eric Jones can certainly draw one hell of a blood splatter.
Hands down, Kid Vigilante was the most interesting character in the series, so issue #5 is certainly a little blander then its predecessors. Although it was great to see the pint-sized robot pilot Yoshimi play a larger role this time around, she really couldn't fill the void left in his absence. Simply put Yoshimi comes across as a bit vanilla. The real emotional nucleus of this issue lays in the clash between the American Spirit and his former kid sidekick, Jack Fearless. They've got the whole Cap and Bucky thing going, only American Spirit is an evil psychopath and Jack is more machine than man. This clash culminates in a stunning, and gory, splash page.
As much as I know violent splash pages are becoming a bit of a cliché in creator owned titles, in Danger Club #5 it really does work. And that, in my mind, is the gist of what what makes Danger Club work: It embraces the familiarity of cliché while exposing the reader to new ideas. Landry Q Walker, Eric Jones and Micheal Drake, haven't reinvented the wheel they've simply given it spinning rims. The wheel has never looked so damn good.