The Insomniac has it in for costumed villains ever since The Stickman killed his partner. Guess who just found Playtime and her minor league villain friends? Your Major Spoilers review of Minor Threats #3 from Dark Horse Comics awaits!
MINOR THREATS #3
Writer: Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum
Artist: Scott Hepburn
Colorist: Ian Herring
Letterer: Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT
Editor: Daniel Chabon
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: November 9, 2022
Previously in Minor Threats: Our group of D-list costumed villains set out across the city to hunt down the lethal, criminal mastermind the Stickman, and collect the lucrative bounty on his head. Hoping to find him at an upscale nightclub for supervillains they instead encounter something more terrifying: The unhinged vigilante hero, The Insomniac, out for revenge.
AFTER THE FALL
As Playtime falls to her inevitable doom, desperately searching for a gadget that could save her, disgraced surgeon Scalpel takes over as our POV character. She remembers her father, who ran a small charity clinic, only to fall victim to a supervillain who wanted to use her business as a front for drugs. She remembers his death and how foolish he was, which is why Scalpel believes that no motivator, be it love, family, or legacy, is as powerful as money. That’s what leads her to save Playtime’s life and that’s why, when she realizes that Snake Stalker used to be one of Stickman’s henchmen, he is clearly a traitor in their midst. Together, our five villains manage to figure out where Stickman is hiding (with a little help from Scalpel’s expert torturing of costume maker The Thread King), but no matter how clever they are, they aren’t as evil as the arch-villain…
And he saw them coming a mile away.
A SHOCKING (AND SLIGHT CONFUSING) END
The last page of this comic is the first time I’ve been really puzzled by an issue of Minor Threats, as it’s not entirely clear who, if anyone, betrayed the group to The Stickman. That’s probably intentional, especially with the angry, suspicious glances in the final panels, and the reveal of Snake Stalker’s former life, but it’s a moment that took more than one read for me to get a handle on. Other than that, though, the plotting of this issue is excellent, and Scalpel’s cynical worldview is the perfect one for the issue where it all falls apart. Hepburn’s art is up to the challenges of the issue, even the point where the gang has to run through a strange zone of dimensional and temporal warps, chased by the superheroic Searcher. There’s a moment in this story that had me gasping out loud (which I don’t want to ruin for other readers), reminding me how much I love a big shared-universe comic full of all new concepts and characters.
BOTTOM LINE: A STRONG CHAPTER
In the final analysis, Minor Threats #3 is an overall winner, with strong art and wonderful character writing pushing me past my issues with the presentation of the climax and throwing Playtime, Snake Stalker, Scalpel, Brain Tease, and Pigeon Pete directly into the proverbial fire, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall as they hit rock bottom. I’m looking forward to the final issue wrap-up and would recommend this to any comic fans who miss the Bronze Age, when the shared universes of the Big Two were a little more manageable and filled with weirdos.
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MINOR THREATS #3
Scalpel's past is unlocked with the same quirky and entertaining art, and the tension holds up throughout the book, even if the last page is a bit of a head-scratcher.