AHOY Comics is on a tear. The second issue of their debut series, The Wrong Earth, sold out and went back for a second printing. Comic shops increased their orders for issue #3. The quantities ordered were more than those for the first issue, which ‘never happens’ with new series in today’s comics market.
After reading The Wrong Earth #3, It’s easy to see why.
The main story picks up the pace in this adventure. This issue brings secondary characters to the forefront and, surprisingly, shuffles other characters offstage. The premise of this story is both traditional and cutting edge at the same time: the adventures of the gritty Dragonfly and the campy Dragonflyman as they switch places. Each character must navigate the absurdity of their doppelganger’s setting. Conventions are skewered on both sides of the narrative.
The Wrong Earth is a judgement-free zone. Readers aren’t scolded or lectured. For every “the old days were better”, bit, there’s a counterpoint example of how today’s fiction makes the vintage stuff look dated. Instead, readers are invited on an adventurous romp that highlights the absurdity of it all.
The series also embraces a sense of urgency and surprise. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, writer Tom Peyer pulls the rug out. Peyer is a master of zigging when you thought the only option was zagging.
Jamal Igle’s artistic talent pushes the story along at a frantic pace. His solid artwork is almost humble. There are no showy, “look at me” scenes. But at the same time, his thoughtful page layout, unexpected camera angles and detailed backgrounds leave the reader wanting more.
As with every AHOY series, there’s more to the comic than just the main story. Paul Constant and Frank Cammuso offer up another fun Stinger “Golden Age adventure”. This time, the young hero investigates mysterious hijinks at the Sidekick Museum.
As with all AHOY Comics, this issue is rounded out with clever short text pieces. The real magic of them, for me, is how they prolong the reader’s time with the comic. Like the signature articles in a Brubaker/Phillips crime comic, these short stories ensure every fan feels as if they are getting their money’s worth.
It’s all fresh and fun. Longtime comic fans seldom have that “I can’t wait to find out what happens next” feeling, but that’s exactly where The Wrong Earth #3 will leave them.