Advance Review: D-Listers Save The Day In `Minor Threats’ #1

by Tom Smithyman


A great creative team delivers a blockbuster first issue and sets up the rest of a limited series that could be one of the year’s best. The writing is strong and take the story in unexpected ways, while artwork depicts an exciting new world.


For every Joker and Thanos, there is a Condiment King and Stilt-Man. These D-list villains pose a minor threat to street-level characters like Daredevil or Green Arrow but wouldn’t last 30 seconds against The Avengers or Justice League.

That low-level caliber of villain is the focus of Minor Threats, the new series written by Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum. Characters like Brain Tease and Pigeon Pete inhabit the seedy underbelly of Twilight City, which is under the protective eye of the superhero group, the Continuum. When one of the heroes’ sidekicks is murdered by the evil Stickman, the capes start going after every villain they can locate with their X-ray vision.

Ex-villain Playtime narrates the tale. After a life of crime, she’s trying to go legit, but the only job she could land was tending at a seedy villain dive. While Playtime’s story is familiar, Oswalt and Blum have scripted a conflicted character who is trying to figure out what to do with her life.

The serious nature of story is perhaps the biggest surprise of this premiere issue. Despite comedian Oswalt sharing writing duties and characters that most readers – much less heroes – would never take all that seriously, the story is a serious one. Think more Irredeemable than M.O.D.O.K. – at least for now. That’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s a great story with the potential to be on the year’s top-10 list.

The book is further boosted by artist Scott Hepburn’s drawings. Hepburn is a gifted and nimble artist who can elicit the right feelings from an audience that doesn’t even have to read the word bubbles. The reader is treated to a visual cornucopia of action, emotion, humor as well as a rogues’ gallery of baddies and heroes.

This is no “minor” first issue – it has the makings of a blockbuster.

Minor Threats #1 will be available for purchase on Wednesday.

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