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Yes! It finally came! Bad Guys #1 is mine! I did a lot of jumping up and down and laughing when I got this comic today. Here's my page-by-page review, as usual, but this time, not cut into 2 parts. I'm doing it all in one shot this time.
Bad Guys: Redemption
Chapter 1: Strangers
Page 1: Nice helicopter. And good work on not making it a full moon. My first reaction while reading this was the different texture of the pages. It was unusual, but I adjusted quickly. It's Matt's song from Witch! I really liked that episode where he sings this song and the other one; I think the name is "The Demon In Me". I have no clue what island the Redemption Squad is heading to, so I'll go on to the next page now.
Page 2: So here's the Redemption Squad. I was a bit confused because I thought that this comic was going to be about recruiting the squad, and yet here they all are, going on a mission. I figured out that the recruiting would take place a couple pages later. I find it funny that Matrix is the one holding the boom box and listening to the music. I love how Fang loses a bullet. His expression is very funny. I didn't catch that until my 3rd time looking through the comic. I get the feeling that Dingo seems very angry about something else besides just the mission they're about to go on. I guess only time will tell.
Page 3: Hunter & Dingo have some fun lines near the end of this page. And of course, Fang has to put his two cents into the matter. I knew it was him speaking at the bottom of this page, even without his picture, because he's always getting in on other people's business.
Page 4: I love Fang's lines. I have no problem hearing Jim Belushi's voice in my head when Fang is talking here. In fact, I had an easier time hearing the voices of these characters in this comic in my head than I do with the regular characters in the Gargoyles comic book series. I wonder why.
Page 5: And here we are led to believe that the Redemption Helicopter is no more… in fact I think it's safe to say it is no more. I am curious to see how the Redemption Squad managed to escape. Many fans who have been to the Gatherings have said in reviews that this scene was part of a clip shown at the Gathering, so they know how this part turns out. Since I haven't been to any Gatherings, I am still left in the dark about how they escaped the explosion. I can't wait to find out.
Page 6: Now we travel back in time two months to Australia. And you know what? Matt's song is still playing. I guess he must've made it big to have his song playing all the way in Australia. Good for him. Unless, of course, Matt doesn't exist in this universe and someone else wrote his exact same song and made it a big hit. The page ends with a big bang.
Page 7: Okay, he had a great intro, but this guy looks pretty corny. In fact, the first thing I thought of when I saw the Tazmanian Tiger was that he looked like a very corny version of Batman without a cape. His pets are cool looking though.
Page 8: I love the reference to Superman here. It's funny to hear what the Australians have to say about whom they think is up in the sky. Dingo had a pretty good entrance. The Tazmanian Tiger doesn't even bother talking, he just starts shooting. I find that interesting, because at first glance, I would've figured this guy to be an all talk, not much fight kind of guy.
Page 9: We find out that Hunter is tracking Dingo. We also get to learn a bit more about the bad guy's pets. I've never heard of these animals before. They're cool though. I want to know how the Tazmanian Tiger has them under control. Someone had to have gone through a lot of training with these animals to get them to do all the "tricks" he's having them do.
Page 10: About this time, the lyrics to the song were taking away from the action in the story for me, so from this point on, I read through all the lyrics on each page before reading what the characters were saying and what they were doing. The Thylacines start out well enough and put up a good fight, but not a good enough fight for Matrix and Dingo. They are quickly apprehended.
Page 11: Here's the part where the Tazmanian Tiger doesn't seem so corny. He takes a good slice out of the back of Dingo and Matrix. Before this happens, I really like Dingo's line, "Don't know where he dug up two extinct tazzie tigers…" It just helps get his voice in my head. He also shows how much he's trying to be a good guy by not harming his enemies after they've been apprehended, since they are extinct (nearly extinct) animals.
Page 12: Dingo has some really good action moves on this page. He really lets the Tazmanian Tiger have it. And he doesn't use any one-liners to get the job done.
Page 13: This is probably one of my favorite lines in this comic, "Thanks kid. Love the Mohawk." I had a good laugh with that one. Again, we get the Superman feel on this page. We also get the end of the "Will to Love" song. Everything seems to be going great for the new Australian superhero so far. Oh, yeah, I have to mention the GW on the police car in this scene. I have to give credit to my sister for this because I didn't catch this on my own. She had to point it out to me.
Page 14: It's the Shaman! I honestly didn't think I'd see him again so soon in the comics, but then it makes sense since we are seeing Dingo's new life. The Shaman helped find this new path for Dingo to take, so it makes a lot of sense for him to be there when Dingo joins the Redemption Squad. The picture of the Pack was awesome. I felt like I was seeing the TV show again.
Page 15: Dingo doesn't seem thrilled about Matrix "inserting" himself into his spine. I wouldn't be either. I'm glad to have gotten the explanation on this page about how Dingo and Matrix are connected when they "team up". I'm guessing now that Dingo knows this, he'll not want to connect as often, and Matrix will start to become his own person and not just Dingo's armor accessory.
Page 16: Dingo's name is finally revealed in the comics. Now it is officially cannon. I like Robyn's response to Dingo when he asks if she's a bounty hunter. I also like how you show here that even if you change your life and try to forget your past wrongs, you still have consequences. Even if Dingo is now a hero in Australia, he did some bad stuff in the past, and he needs to make up for it, not run from it, because the past does catch up with you eventually.
Page 17: This was a great situation to put Dingo in. The fight with Hunter would not have been as interesting, I think, if he had "saddled up" with Matrix. This way, we can see what he is capable of on his own.
Page 18-20: Great fight scene. I have a harder time with action in comics than I do with TV, so I went through these 3 pages a few times to get it all in.
Page 21: So there is something that can stop Matrix. Fancy that. And the Shaman does a good job here with Matrix, helping him to see the logic of the situation.
Page 22: Another great line, and I know it's been mentioned before, but I can't pass it up. "Look I've gone the super-villain route…" "Who hasn't?" The shot of the Shaman shows that he sees the good that could come out of this union between Robyn, Dingo, and Matrix.
Page 23: I really like the full body picture of Hunter here. Her facial expressions on this page are good too. Where did she put her crossbow? She must be really fast, 'cause one second it's there, and the next it's hidden away again. Another good line, "The pulse grenade's worn off!" "Was the helicopter too big a tip-off?" And lastly, the Shaman gives his input on the matter. I'm not sure if he wants Dingo to join up with Hunter because he thinks Dingo needs to be working with others to do good in the world (other than Matrix) or if he sees that Dingo needs to "clean up his act", such as making up for past wrongs. Maybe a bit of both with some other reasons in the mix as well?
Page 24: I don't find it too alarming that it was Matrix and not Dingo who wanted to go with Hunter. Matrix wants law and order (every time I see those words in the comic, I automatically think of the show Law and Order) and believes that, after what Hunter just said, that is what she is pursuing. There's that, plus the fact that Matrix just learned that Dingo hasn't always been for law and order. It gives him some cause to want to follow this new person and not Dingo as much. And why should Dingo want to accept? He's like a superhero in his home country now. Why should he be concerned with this new person who has been hunting him and is now blackmailing him? I wouldn't want to partner up with someone who was doing that to me. I think the one thing that surprises me the most is how quickly Dingo changed his mind after Matrix agreed to go with Hunter. I guess he wouldn't want to leave Matrix with her and that maybe Shaman's inspiring words helped, but it seemed too soon for me to believe. I do love the relationship between Dingo and Hunter right now. It's the beginning of an interesting ride.
Well, all in all, I LOVED this comic. Out of all the spin-offs, I wanted to see this one the most (well, it was tied with Timedancer). The end of the comic has set up the next comic very well and I'm very excited to see the recruitment of Yama. That, and hopefully we'll find out how the Redemption Squad survived the exploding helicopter and who they were about to go up against. I can't wait for the next issue and I hope that this series does really well. Thanks for a great job.
Thank you for your time and all that you do.