Fighting The Time Masters In Bebop & Rocksteady Hit The Road #3

by James Ferguson

All Bebop and Rocksteady wanted to do was head home to New York. Along the way, they’ve been attacked by a mutant bat, turned back to humans, got regular jobs, and been in a fire-fight that may cost them their lives. They’re now lying in a dumpster, bleeding out and preparing for death. That’s when the time-traveling villain Savanti Romero shows up to provide a stay of execution of sorts, enlisting these two nitwits to help him in a quest for revenge.

You have to love the enthusiasm displayed by Bebop & Rocksteady at the idea of becoming mutants again and serving as henchmen. It’s the role they were born to play. Plus, based on the events of the previous issue, they are clearly not suited for anything else. Although they’ve spent some time with Savanti and had a whole adventure through time and space, they are most definitely not qualified to operate any sort of advanced machinery. They’d find a way to blow up a typewriter.

This leads to some of the most hilarious moments in Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road #3, as these two are whizzing around in these small time-themed aircraft trying to clear the way for Savanti. They’re crashing into buildings and shooting just about everything in sight. It’s like if you let a 5 year old drive a tank…that flies.

Writer/artist Dustin Weaver makes Bebop and Rocksteady look intimidating at times, reminding us that these are two incredibly strong and dangerous beings. Remember when they beat Donatello to death? That menacing quality only flares up on occasion, during more intense scenes. For the most part, they look like excited children…that happen to be part rhino and warthog. What kid wouldn’t be excited at the idea of flying around a sci-fi helicopter?

That wide-eyed enthusiasm contrasts with the eternal frustration of Savanti. He’s tangled with Bebop & Rocksteady before so he knows what he’s getting into, although he instantly regrets it. He looks like a demon, although not nearly as frightening.

The helicopters have red glass as windshields, so the close-up shots of Bebop & Rocksteady look more tense, like they’re in the heat of battle during a war and not joyriding through a major American city without a clue as to what they’re doing. Colorist Brittany Peer adds to the fun and excitement of an already awesome sequence with these panels.

The sound effects pop off the page, swirling around the ships and characters in really cool ways. I didn’t know what a laser fired from a futuristic time machine would sound like, but thanks to letterer Shawn Lee, I do now. Lee adds this crazy intensity to some of Bebop and Rocksteady’s lines while they’re flying around too. It’s like they’re pretending they’re in an action movie. I wonder which one is Maverick and which one is Ice Man.

Weaver’s layouts for this entire confrontation are impressive. The panels vary in shape, size, and placement, creating these dynamic and energetic pages. There are a lot of moving parts and each one gets time to shine.

The dialogue is just as humorous as ever. Bebop and Rocksteady can’t do anything without an argument. In this case, they’re fighting over the saying “last one in is a rotten egg.” They actually bring up a good point. If the last person is a rotten egg, what does that make everyone else? Fresh eggs? Of course, this is happening just as the Time Masters are circling so it’s not the best time.

Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road is pure, adrenaline-filled fun from beginning to end. It’s crazy, over-the-top, and hilarious. These two dangerous mutants somehow always come up on top despite everything working against them. You can’t be mad at them, either. They have this lovable quality to them that you can’t help but sit back and watch the chaos unfold around them.

Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road #3 from IDW Publishing is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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