Sunday, November 16, 2003

PS238 #4 - A Review

Written by: Aaron Williams
Penciled by: Aaron Williams
Inked by: Aaron Williams
Colored by: N/A
Lettered by: Aaron Williams
Editor: Aaron Williams
Publisher: Dorkstorm Press

Ah, the class field trip. An essential part of the American school experience as youths are taken into the real world to learn more about it. And it is no different at PS238, the exclusive school for the super-powered children of super-powered adults. Of course at this school, the typical field trip leads to some decidedly untypical places; in this case, the moon.

This is the brilliant conceit behind Aaron Williams’ PS238. On the one hand, it is a comic about kids trying to cope at school and it is all about the typical problems we all met when we were in school. But the typical concerns are turned on their head, as the equipment check for the trip includes radios, respirators, helmets and an in-flight demonstration on how to use the anti-gravity toilets.

On the other hand, this book is also a rather hilarious parody of some of our favorite superhero titles. The “team” for this book includes Captain Clarinet (son of this world’s Man of a very strong metal indeed.), the son of Emerald Gauntlet, Suzi Fusion (“Doctor Positron says my internal body temperature can melt lead!”), would-be world-conqueror Zodon and… Tyler, the non-powered black sheep of his parent’s family, currently apprenticing under the watchful eye of the Batman-esque Revenant.

Williams, who draws each issue as well as writing it, manages the neat trick of building serious drama even as he delivers some high quality laughs. This is in spite of Williams’ cartoonish drawing style which lends itself better to exaggerated expressions than depicting the darkness of space of the menace of an ice-breathing man-monster. (And I must say I love Zodon’s face as he finds out the school’s head technician snuck a tracking device onto his hover-chair.)

Excellent marks overall. A+, Mr. Williams. We expect your mother will put this work on the fridge door!

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