MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000 #5
This is a crazy concept, but it totally works and makes as much sense as it can under the circumstances, but I have to say I enjoy it.
In the not-so-distant future, strange things are afoot in the land of comics. Your Major Spoilers review of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 #5 awaits!
Writer: Harold Buchholz/Joel Hodgson/Matt McGinnis/Seth Robinson/Sharyl Volpe/Mary Robinson
Artist: Todd Nauck/Mike Manley/Jack Pollock/Mimi Simon
Colorist: Wes Dzioba/Mike Manley/Jack Pollock Mimi simon
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Editor: Randy Stradley
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 20, 2019
Previously in Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The riffing continues as Tom Servo (Teen Reporter) survives a plane crash, Jonah Heston and Black Cat tangle with gangsters, and Crow T. Robot embraces his “Crow Keeper” role.
I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON… BUT I LIKE IT!
We open in the bowels of Moon 13, as Kinga Forrester takes action about Jonah and the ‘bots being trapped in public domain comics, releasing a horde of bubbles to… capture them? I think? It’s all a little vague, as the story transitions into Tom Servo’s adventure story once more as he crashes a light aircraft, gets captured by armed thugs and just generally looks super-freaky with his bubble-head on a human body. While all of that is going on, Jonah is trapped in a Black Cat comic (the 50s vigilante based on Lana Turner, not Spider-Man’s on-again, off’-again girlfriend), Totino’s Pizza Rolls probably get a lot of money for licensing their names and Crow’s status as horror host allows him to manipulate the story, something that surprises and fascinates Kinga Forrester. As the issue comes to an end, Kinga has a new plan to destroy all of mankind… through the power of Max’s terrible comic book collection!
THE RIFFS JUST KEEP ON COMIN’
The very fact that the cast of MST3K are being drawn into actual public domain comic books is worth the price of admission for me, but the fact that it works as well as it does is pretty remarkable. Even though the art-style on the three chapters is different, the creators manage to insert their characters nearly seamlessly, and the point where Max ends up face-to-face with his idol, The Black Cat is cute, terrifying and kind of sweet all at once. To be honest, the nature of the stories make it a little difficult to just jump into this story, and even after reading through it, I had to go back for a second pass to get it all straight. That said, the jokes are solid (some of them are actually laugh-out-loud funny), the streamlining of multiple stories in the service of one narrative works well, and it’s just goofy enough to work as one story. I especially appreciate that Nauck is able to capture the likenesses of Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day in the wrap-arounds, and I’m looking forward to the closing chapter next time.
BOTTOM LINE: STILL WORKS
I haven’t seen all of the new MST3K season, but I intend to get around to it, and this book makes for a nice booster shot until new episodes are ready. Mystery Science Theatre 3000 #5 probably shouldn’t work, but the combination of clever writing and careful artistic alterations holds together nicely (if chaotically), earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’m not sure that this is where I’d start with either MST3K as a whole or this series, but it’s a strong enough issue for those who have been following along, with the promise of a big finale next time around.