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Minor Threats: The Fastest Way Down #2
Dark Horse Comics

Comic Books

‘Minor Threats: The Fastest Way Down’ #2 explores the lengths supervillains (and superheroes) go to for their goals

Balancing character study with dark humor.

Minor Threats: The Fastest Way Down, like any good sequel, knows that to truly build on a story you have to go deeper instead of bigger. Digging deeper into a character reveals the flaws that might trip them up; The Empire Strikes Back shows Luke Skywalker at his most impulsive, while Spider-Man 2 shows how Peter Parker’s self doubt can be just as deadly a foe as Doctor Octopus. With Minor Threats: The Fastest Way Down #2, the creative team is pointing out how protagonist Playtime is willing to do anything to hold onto her newfound power.

That power is being threatened by the teenage superhero team known as the Action, who’s hot on the trail of whoever murdered the Insomniac. Despite the warning of her lover/lieutenant Scalpel, Playtime goes on the warpath…but little does she know that things were set into motion by someone who’s been hurt by her actions in the previous Minor Threats series. And they intend to bring her empire crashing down on her.

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Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum juggle quite a bit in their script: there’s the warpath the Action is carving, presenting a darker take on teenage superheroes. There’s the way Playtime tends to fly off the handle, which leads to a fight with scalpel. It’s tragic and funny and action packed and in lesser hands it would fall apart like a house of cards, but Oswalt and Blum somehow manage to balance all of it with ease. They also deserve major credit for continuing to come up with new heroes and villains, particularly where the Action is concerned; their membership ranges from the outlandish (a humanoid frog-boy named Warp) to more conventional (super-speedster Ms. Moment, who can basically be summed up as “the Flash with no impulse control and no conscience.”)

So does Scott Hepburn, who draws a multitude of scenes that have their own unique flair. Take the opening pages; it’s not only told from the point of view of the mysterious narrator, but drawn from their POV as well – the Insomniac’s fists shooting at the reader, Scalpel hovering above them, a somber shot of a hospital bed. Another two page spread showcases the various members of the Action; Nate Piekos’ captions give them names while Hepburn draws each of them using their powers in increasingly destructive ways.

The real kicker is an entire page dedicated to the fight between Scalpel and Playtime. The former has…well, a surgeon’s knowledge of how to incapacitate her foes and medical-themed weapons; the latter has a multitude of toys at her disposal. All of it is detailed within that single page, moving down a staircase and packing in plenty of chaos thanks to Ian Herring’s color work. You’ll never look at a sock monkey the same way again.

Minor Threats: The Fastest Way Down #2 explores just what a superhero is willing to do for justice, or what a supervillain is willing to do for power, balancing character study with dark humor. It’s what makes this book stand out from the pack, and keeps this writer coming back issue after issue.

Minor Threats: The Fastest Way Down #2
‘Minor Threats: The Fastest Way Down’ #2 explores the lengths supervillains (and superheroes) go to for their goals
Minor Threats: The Fastest Way Down #2
Minor Threats: The Fastest Way Down #2 explores just what a superhero is willing to do for justice, or what a supervillain is willing to do for power, balancing character study with dark humor. It's what makes this book stand out from the pack, and keeps this writer coming back issue after issue.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
A script that manages to be part character study, part dark humor, and all-around entertaining.
Oswalt and Blum have a knack for whipping up new heroes and villains.
Hepburn's artwork results in one of the most unique fight sequences you'll see in a comic.
8
Good
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