Slapstick #1 (Marvel)


CREDIT: Marvel Comics

Rating: 4.5/5 – Slapstick is Actually…Great!
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

Although I definitely remember the Slapstick comics from the 1990s, I can’t remember if I actually ever read an issue of the short four part mini series. Slapstick has made some other minor appearances since that initial series, appearing in Avengers: The Initiative and more recently, Deadpool & The Mercs for Money. Although Marvel has recently embraced plenty of humor driven books like Squirrel Girl, Mockingbird and Hellcat just to name a few, it’s actually quite surprising that this oddball character is getting his own series, but after reading this first issue, I’m even more surprised that I’m happy he is!

Slapstick is a mercenary looking for work and using Deadpool’s log-in, I’m assuming from the Mercs for Money series. That leads him into a confrontation with Spider-Man and the rarely seen Marvel villain Quasimodo.  What I learned from this first issue is that Slapstick is a teenager named Steve Harmon and somehow he was changed from a regular human being into “something else”, made from a substance called electroplasm that gives him a cartoon-like appearance. What I think I enjoyed most about this first issue is that it really embraces the two opposing art styles with Slapstick’s animated style right alongside the more “realistic” style of the traditional comic art. The whole look is a three person effort that has Reilly Brown providing the storyboards, Diego Olortegui providing the art and colorist Jim Campbell having a huge impact with the colors. This books looks great from beginning to end! Slapstick’s appearance and bright colors somehow both look out of place and perfectly fine in each and every panel. Not only is he drawn in certain panels spitting bullets out of his mouth, or having his face smashed completely flat, but he’s also colored much brighter and simpler which drew my eyes right to the action. The onomatopoeia used in the issue are also quite fun and effective and had me chuckling on a couple occasions.

Writers Reilly Brown and Fred Van Lente do a nice job in this issue of giving just enough backstory to understand what Slapstick is, but I actually wish they gave a little more info since I, and I’m sure plenty of other readers, know so little about him and would appreciate the added information. This first issue can be enjoyed all on its own and although this story ends introducing us to next month’s villain, it still felt like a standalone story that was great for a premiere issue like this one. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I loved this first issue of Slapstick and I hope this series goes on much longer than his first solo outing. Slapstick is a must read for me!

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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