Every time I hear someone say, “There’s nothing new you can do with superheroes anymore!” I have to laugh. Several new series have showed us that there’s still life in this beloved genre, including Dragonfly & Dragonflyman #3 from Ahoy Comics that genuinely looks at how different the Adam West Batman and the Christopher Nolan Batman are.
Writer: Tom Peyer
Artist: Peter Krause
Colorist: Andy Troy
Editor: Tom Peyer
Published by: Ahoy Comics
Cover price: $3.99
Release Date: January 8, 2020
Previously in Dragonfly and Dragonflyman: On gritty Earth-Omega, Dragonfly locates his runaway partner, Stinger. Is what he does next a rescue – or an abduction? On sunlit Earth-Alpha, Dragonflyman’s mental block against fighting might find its solution in the mysterious Lady Dragonflyman! Plus the usual Ahoy short prose stories and illustrations.
THE GOSSAMER GLADIATOR VERSUS THE DARK DRAGONFLY!
Before we dive too far into this comic, we should look back at the series’ description:
Springing from the pages of the breakout hit THE WRONG EARTH by writer Tom Peyer and artists Jamal Igle and Juan Castro, comes DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN by Peyer, artist Peter Krause and colorist Andy Troy. This stand-alone prequel to THE WRONG EARTH features the adventures of everyone’s favorite new superheroes—when they were on the right earths. On Earth-Alpha, the cheery caped campaigner Dragonflyman must foil the diabolical schemes of the criminal Devil-Man. Meanwhile, on Earth-Omega, gritty vigilante The Dragonfly battles the dangerous psychopath known as the Devil-Man. Will our heroes be tempted into wrongdoing by their respective versions of their dastardly foe?
This prequel book is showing us on several levels how things got they way they are in The Wrong Earth that preceded it. I sometimes wish they had presented these books in chronological order, but I’m sure Wrong Earth had to be a success before this mini-series could be greenlit. After all, you don’t want to deeply dive into a series that no one cares about.
In this issue, Dragonfly doesn’t get quite the attention that Dragonflyman does… at least, the latter’s story has a lot more punch to it than the other’s tale. That’s from my perspective, anyway.
I mean, introducing Lady Dragonflyman (I still find that name confusing… Lady Man?) is something the old Batman comics would often do. Batwoman, Bat-girl, Catwoman… you name it, the Caped Crusader had several women to work or fight with in his day.
I won’t spoil it here, but the Lady has a big secret. It has to do with how Dragonflyman is trying to overcome the influence of Devil-Man’s Temptatron, which is bringing out whatever evil there is in this hero.
Stinger, Dragonflyman’s partner/sidekick, thinks he’s being replaced, of course, so he’s not happy with how things are going. There’s a wonderful line in which D-Man says that the police officers will have to tend to this case… “yourselves.” Stinger reacts, “Say it ain’t so, Dragonflyman!” I always wondered if Adam West’s Batman would ever tell Commissioner Gordon those words… at least once!
On Earth-Omega, the Dark Dragonfly is using tough love to get HIS Stinger back on his feet, but to no avail. It’s even making Dragonfly darker than before, and he takes out his frustration on the bad guys, saying to them what he wishes he could tell his young ally. That’s likely for those of us who don’t think Batman even needs a Robin.
The pacing is quick, and the dialogue is appropriate when it happens. Very well done!
One of the most important things this title can do is make sure the two worlds appear differently from each other. And the artwork does that extremely powerfully. The coloring on the “darker” Earth is dark enough to match the story there, and it’s lighter and brighter on the other world.
Again, I often judge comic art by action sequences and facial expressions. The battles are darker on Earth-Omega as well, but I particularly like Dragonfly’s grittier, almost unshaven look. It’s a lot like Frank Miller’s Batman back in All Star Batman and Robin. I like that a lot!
BOTTOM LINE: A Fun Read for Bat-Fans, Among Others!
I’ve read Batman stories for decades now, and this title taps into a lot of the legacy the Dark Knight has dealt with for years and years. Female partners, the Robin quandry, robots, and other elements take me back to the fun comics of years ago.
I’m hoping the sales on this book are enough to warrant more mini-series featuring these two worlds. Hey, I wouldn’t mind an ongoing, if they can work out the scheduling!
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Dragonfly & Dragonflyman #3 of 5
In this issue, Dragonfly doesn’t get quite the attention that Dragonflyman does… at least, the latter’s story has a lot of punch to it than the other’s tale. That’s from my perspective, anyway.