They’re back! And it’s time to unlock the magic! Your Major Spoilers review of Care Bears #1 awaits!
Writer: Matthew Ermans & Nadia Shammas
Artist: Agnes Garbowska
Colorist: Silvana Brys
Letterer: Christa Meisner
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 10, 2019
Previously in Care Bears: Welcome to the Silver Lining, a mystical realm full of mirth and magic! The Care Bears, along with their pals the Whiffles, protect this realm from the negative influence of the mischievous Bluster and his Bad Crowd!
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN
Far away, in a dark and terrible place, the creature (?) known as Bluster laughs an evil laugh as he puts his latest plan in to motion, changing the reflections of everyone in The Silver Lining to show what he wants them to see. This causes the Care Bears (driving about in their actually-really-adorable Care Bear APC) to have to intervene, making their way to The Glass Glaciers, where the tiny walking emojis known as The Whiffles are in an uproar. Their reflections in the glaciers have suddenly started causing unrest, with one Whiffle seeing another mocking him, while yet another sees a friend angrily shouting. Funshine, Share, Good Luck, Cheer and Grumpy Bear all have to intervene, but the strange nature of The Silver Lining messes with the power of their Belly Badges, forcing them to continue on foot. Each Care Bear sees their own reflection, but it’s not until Grumpy looks into the glacier that Bluster’s true plan comes to foot, as he sees himself… bad!
THE HASBRO SHARED UNIVERSE?
That last full-page reveal of Grumpy in a leather vest with studded bracelets and piercings is kind of hilarious, though I’m not sure if it’s really as shocking to a modern audience as it might have been in the Bears’ 80s heyday. That said, this issue has quite a few things going for it. The art style is cute, clear to follow and (best of all) consistent from panel to panel, evoking the animated series that it’s drawn from. That’s a big plus, especially if IDW is courting the kids who might be watching that cartoon. The plot is relatively simple, but the slow build to the reveal that something is wrong with everyone’s reflections is skillfully presented and the character archetypes each play a role in unraveling Bluster’s latest plot. There are a couple of jokes for older readers (a reference to “Ludicrous Speed” for the ‘Spaceballs’ fans and a moment where Grumpy tries a full-on inspirational speech only to get hit in the face with a piece of garbage made me smile, remembering the older Care Bears cartoons.
BOTTOM LINE: ALL-AGES FUN
In short, Care Bears #1 is an effective first chapter, delivering colorful and interesting art with fun dialogue and a plot that is deceptively simple, earning a better-than-average 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. Even if you’re not in the target audience, it’s an entertaining comic book with a lot to offer. The question remains, however, whether kids of the appropriate age to read this comic book will A: be in a comic shop or B: have four bucks to spend on a comic, but if and when they do, it will make for some happy reading time.
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CARE BEARS #1
I'm hoping kids who love the show can find this book, as it's well-drawn and well-written.