In the notes at the end of the first issue of Dragonfly And Dragonflyman #1, incoming new editor, Deron Bennet, recognises that we already know the ending to this book because of The Wrong Earth. After all, this is a prequel, and so we are introduces to the Omega Universe’s Stinger – still very much alive and kicking – who acts as the narrator in the portions of this issue that are set on the darker, grittier, Dark Knight Returns-like Earth of Dragonfly. And, given what we do know of where this relationship is heading, it’s no surprise to note that the Stinger of Earth-Omega isn’t too happy with his subservient role in this partnership. Sidekick or not, it doesn’t feel good when you are constantly belittled and metaphorically slapped down by your mentor. And, as we witness in just the first few opening pages, it’s something Dragonfly is very good at. A trait that he isn’t even aware of.
But then, this is the Dragonfly of old, as he is at the beginning of The Wrong Earth, before any redemptive path is even thought about. At this moment in time, he’s a throwback to when darker comics where the norm.
New artist, but long-time veteran of the industry, Peter Krause, renders the characters of this gloomier, more violent world with suitably gothic shadows and a minimum of light, with a great deal of input from Andy Troy with suitably dull colors. Where Krause delivers the shadowy, darker figures of Earth-Omega, Troy complements this with dark, moody colors that sharply contrast those he uses in depicting Dragonflyman and Stinger on Earth-Alpha. Here, both Krause and Troy deploy a much lighter, brighter style that really helps underscore the duality of these two worlds, even if the action playing out across the dimensional division are of a similar nature. But, as we saw in The Wrong Earth, these two realities couldn’t be any more different. Write Tom Peyer once again pours a great deal of his love of the Batman ’66 series into this book, but after 6 issues of this, it has moved away from simply a satire of the aforementioned TV show, and has grown into a world we’d all like to live in. A world of fun, optimism and crimes that really are just daft.
While, I found myself drawn to the sheer fun of the Dragonflyman sections – who wouldn’t? – I am already invested in the tale of Stinger on Earth-Omega, not only because I know his ultimate fate, but also because he is so put upon by a guy who should be looking out for him, and acting as a role-model.
Meanwhile, to prevent things from getting too dour too quickly, we are treated to a jet-setting trip to Australia for out Earth-Alpha dynamic duo, with an over-the-top stereotypical presentation of Aussies that will have you laughing. None of the humour is done out of spite, but out of jest, as Dragonflyman finds himself during it out in the ring with a boxing kangaroo! Quaint, albeit archaic. But then, so is Batman ’66 when you look at it today.
And, the fun doesn’t just stop at the end of this strip. As with all Ahoy Comics’ productions we are rated to a selection of short prose pieces, and there’s none better that K-Wek’s ridiculous recounting of the invention of golf. Accurately incorrect, of course, but delivered with such gusto it may well have some readers believe in its telling. Like I say, great fun.
Dragonfly And Dragonflyman #1 is available now from AHOY Comics