With the Addams Family cartoon reboot in theaters, it’s prime time for licensed comics to drop. Typically these sorts of comic books capture the energy of the film, but may not do it justice. I can say safely Zoe Quinn and Philip Murphy do an excellent job capturing the spirit of these characters that you know and love, with a modern spin on them to boot. The 36-page one-shot might be a week late for Halloween, but it’s scary (I’m sorry!) good.
I haven’t seen the new movie, but considering it raked in over $129 million I think it’s quite safe to say this formula is here to stay for a few sequels. I just hope comics like this continue to be made. Quinn opens the issue with a lot of familiar elements from the show and movies. Gomez is waxing “Cara mia…” and Morticia is whispering “Mi amore…” as we cut to them dancing and nearly dying by a chandelier in their house. Meanwhile, Wednesday is putting her brother Puglsy through hell and trying to send him there. At first, I was worried this one-shot wouldn’t take any chances since all the tropes of this series take place at the start, but you’ll soon find these familiar elements are important to the plot. Quinn and Murphy focus the narrative on Wednesday and her total boredom with her family’s ability to survive any danger and spin any threat into a fun activity. She needs more. At one point, Morticia realizes Wednesday is going through a phrase for her age and it’s quite clear Wednesday is growing older and wiser and needs more.
That is where the narrative spins wildly into a fun territory that could only be pure hell for the Addams family. The grandmother plays a part early on which ends up sending Wednesday down the wrong road. Quinn utilizes a common cultural information system (staying vague here to avoid spoilers) that is horrible for young girls and it turns Wednesday into an abomination from her family’s perspective. It’s a nice bit of social commentary that many will relate to. The book ends with cool twist that adds to Wednesday’s growth which is quite cool especially for a licensed property like this where characters must remain largely unchanged by the end.
Murphy does a fantastic job on art with some impressive backgrounds to show off the fantastical nature of the house. The characters look very close to their new cartoon counterparts too, and some of the funniest moments are thanks to how Murphy poses Wednesday or her family depending on the scene. Inks are also by Philip Murphy and Maria Keane with colors by Valentina Pinto all of which give the title a darker tone yet still welcoming for the younger set. Christa Miesner does the lettering and design and I found her work bubbly and fun. There’s an extra bit of pep in the dialogue thanks to the lettering here.
This is a funny and compelling Addams Family story that all ages can enjoy. The story has a strong message that many can learn from or relate to while never feeling preachy. The overall package will make you want more, but if the one-shot can be this good, I’ll take it. This is an Addams Family story that’s funny, fun, and smart.