If you’re unfamiliar, AHOY Comics hit the publisher scene like a bat out of hell last year blowing readers away with a magazine format, killer series, and a new high-value way of reading comics. The first title was Wrong Earth, which featured Dragonflyman from two different dimensions. In one he is your happy-go-lucky Adam West style superhero not unlike Batman, while the other was the gritty Frank Miller style hero who breaks bones and likes it. The dichotomy was delicious and it served up a story that cut back and forth between worlds to deliver a commentary on comic book superheroes. A prequel series is out this week to further explore Earth-Omega and Earth-Alpha. While this new series is technically spoiled by Wrong Earth, it offers a heavy helping of heroic deeds from two very different angles.
In a lot of ways, this new series serves as a spiritual sort of sequel. It offers readers a chance to understand Dragonflyman and his relationship to his sidekick Stinger, while also building on each of the worlds. Tom Peyer does a great job cutting between each world connecting the two via the same villain. This villain is obviously harsher in one world over the other, but it’s fun to see how the stories are similar and different. By the end, it’s quite clear these stories are giving readers a different flavor of a similar adventure, but judging by the differences it’s fun to see how they diverge.
I can’t get enough of the hopeful and happy Earth-Alpha. The characters are borderline funny in their optimism and it allows Peyer to write dialogue that’ll slap a grin on your face. How can you argue with the pure joy of the dialogue, “They’re already rushing to face the devil…at the speed of justice!” It’s also fun to see how things always turn out aces in the positive Earth-Alpha and when things get hokey with a kangaroo battle you have to smile. There’s really no way to criticize how the scenes on this Earth play out since anything goes since the plot seems to serve Dragonflyman.
On the flip side, the darker universe is fun to read thanks to Dragonflyman’s snippy comments to Stinger. The relationship is icy, to say the least, and it’s interesting to read into their relationship between the lines. All of these new details help inform the original series, which is a nice byproduct.
The art by Peter Krause, color by Andy Troy, and letters by Rob Steen show AHOY knows how to put a team together. The art is certainly different from the last series, but it’s good at capturing the faces, sulks, and other details happening in a scene. The Earth-Omega scenes are colored a bit darker and drawn a bit edgier. The Earth-Alpha scenes meanwhile are brighter with more happy faces and positivity throughout. It works.
Dragonfly & Dragonflyman is a great start to the follow up to AHOY’s groundbreaking first series. If you like superhero commentary with your comics give this a look.