If you’re around my age (which is none of your damn business), then it’s likely that your early childhood featuring a steady diet of Mighty Mouse cartoons. A clear analog of Superman, the cartoons often had our erstwhile hero rescuing his secret love (either Pearl Pureheart or Mitzi Mouse, depending on which series you were watching), from some dangerous trap she’s in, usually put there be the evil Oil Can Harry, announcing his arrival with the familiar refrain:
Here I come to save the daaaay!
It was all good clean wholesome fun for us kids.
So naturally I was intrigued as I scanned Comixology for new releases this morning, and saw this issue for sale. I had never read any Mighty Mouse comics prior to this, I just knew him from the cartoons, although I know several publishers, including Marvel Comics, have revived the title with varying degrees of success over the years. But I found myself curious to see what Dynamite Comics had come up with. And it turns out that they are using a rather novel, if not completely original, premise for this new series. Instead of telling stories of Mighty Mouse in his own cartoon/comic-book world, this series has Mighty Mouse coming to our world, the “real world.”
SPOILERS FOLLOW, I GUESS…
Written by Sholly Fisch, this issue introduces us to a young lad named Joey. Joey is the prototypical “nerd” character, right down to the glasses he wears. At school he’s picked on by bullies and laughed at by girls. He has no friends, and lives with his apparently single mother who is often working late, leaving Joey by himself even when he’s at home. Joey’s only joy in life is art. He loves to draw, and carries around a sketchbook with him wherever he goes. Specifically, his favorite thing to draw is images of Mighty Mouse. And when he’s not drawing his own pictures of Mighty Mouse, he’s at home watching Mighty Mouse cartoons on TV.
After one particularly painful and embarrassing day at school, Joey draws himself as a superhero, Joey Justice, who teams up with Mighty Mouse to beat up the school bullies and “save the day.” And that afternoon when he gets back home, he sits down to enjoy the latest Mighty Mouse cartoon, only for it to end with Mighty Mouse mysteriously finding himself being drawn out of the TV and appearing, in the flesh, right in front of Joey, to the shock of both of them. And that’s where we’re left off.
It’s a very satisfying first issue. Joey, our protagonist is introduced well, throughout the glimpses of his daily life. He’s easily relate-able and sympathetic (especially if you were ever bullied or felt like an outsider when you were a kid). Now, as I said, the premise of a fictional character becoming real isn’t exactly unique, it’s been done in many forms, but I definitely find myself intrigued by this, and eager to see what happens next. Writer Sholly Fisch is ably joined by artist Igor Lima and colorist Pete Pantazis, who are tasked with illustrating both the “real world” scenes and the “cartoon/comic-book” scenes, and do so very well, showing a clear contrast.
Admittedly, there may be some nostalgia fueling my enjoyment of this issue, but I do believe that whether or not you ever watched Mighty Mouse, you will like this comic. I highly recommend it with a Chacebook rating of FIVE STARS
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