‘Rocko’s Modern Life’ #2 a gauntlet of dad jokes and just the right amount of wrong
By Brandy Dykhuizen. Our Week In Review sums up our weekly comic book coverage while taking time for a new review or two before it’s all over. This week: ‘Rocko’s Modern Life’ #2, ‘Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Rey’, and ‘Dejah Thoris’ #0.
Written by Ryan Ferrier.
Art by Ian McGinty.
Colors by Fred C. Stresing.
Letters by Jim Campbell.
Rocko’s pact with Peaches, the stress flobule-sporting skipper of Heck, has gained him nothing but a new way to interpret his internal monologue: as the classic devil-and-angel-on-the-shoulder stereo that appears right before you completely lose it. And lose it he does, but sometimes that’s what it takes to be able to shed the static of modern life and re-evaluate your path. And besides, that little devil Chalmers puts a pretty handy bug in Rocko’s ear for how to handle the roommate situation down the road.
Ryan Ferrier continues to churn out a solid battery of dad jokes with just the right amount of wrong, falling somewhere between subtle Muppet Show innuendo and Ren & Stimpy barnyard banter: A skateboarding Heffer refers to himself as shredded beef; Chalmers rockets down a waterslide feet first, “breechin’ and beachin’.” It’s a rapid-fire set of giggles that wouldn’t be out of place in a middle school lunchroom, but it works perfectly, as the jokes neither require much set-up nor pause for impact.
Ian McGinty’s Miami palette and wonky lines make landscapes, panels and pages leap out of the book like reflections from a sprint through a house of mirrors. It could be disorienting if it weren’t so gosh-darned fun. And if Ferrier’s characterization of Chalmers didn’t already make your skin crawl, McGinty’s perfect portrayal of that petulant bro essence would surely seal the deal.
Of course, just as things start looking up, life’s hammer is there to take a whack at Rocko’s poor little thumb. Lucky for us, this is one wallaby whose struggles never seem to end. The series has made a great start of perfectly illustrating this generation’s problems in impossibly absurd terms. I’m eagerly awaiting the next crisis.
8.5 out of 10
Written by Jody Houser.
Art by Arianna Florean.
Colors by Adele Matera.
Letters by Tom B. Long.
IDW’s five-book series dedicated to Star Wars’ female heroes is a welcome addition to the onslaught of franchise paraphernalia flying off the shelves and/or screaming at us from various screens. This fantastic group of female writers and artists do well to elevate the Disney label above princesses and glitter to a realm where girls are getting by on their own smarts and strength. Aimed towards younger kiddos, Star Wars Forces of Destiny reminds them that making your own decisions and doing what you know is right will get you much further in life than sitting around waiting for a fairytale to rescue you from the doldrums.
Jody Houser takes us a bit deeper into Rey’s and BB-8’s story as first seen in The Force Awakens. The duo team up to battle nightwatcher worms, loneliness, and other bad guys on Jakku, all in the name of survival. Rey is a kind warrior, though, making sure to keep her droid buddy safe while inflicting the least amount of harm on their assailants. There’s a lot that can happen out there in the sands, but with a big heart and a healthy dose of creativity, Rey proves that mutually beneficial answers can often be found in conflict. Everyone is just trying to do their best, after all.
Arianna Florean bestows deep wells of emotion onto Rey’s face throughout the book’s thirty-ish pages. At times, Rey may have a case of the Disney doe eyes, but Florean uses them to express the determination, empathy and humanity that make Rey a worthy hero. All in all, this is a super cute and well-done installment in IDW’s Forces of Destiny series.
8 out of 10
Written by Amy Chu.
Art by Pasquale Qualano.
Colors by Valentina Pinto.
Letters by Thomas Napolitano.
Amy Chu pens a sadly relevant origin tale for the Princess of Mars – a new generation has been handed a bloody mess. There’s a water crisis with which to contend, the resident races hate each other, and the powers that be are still running a prison in which the incarcerated are thrown in simply for looking the part. If this is the Mars that’s Earth’s backup plan, we should consider putting more effort into rehabbing the planet we’ve got.
As we see Dejah grow, we witness her innocence and naivety take a heavy hit. Young and idealistic, with an Anne Frank level of faith in the goodness of others, she plots a prison break with the certainty that mistreated criminals will uphold their end of the bargain and cooperate with a privileged princess. Things don’t quite go as planned.
We see many other sides of Dejah Thoris as well. We see her breasts from above, below, from the left, from the right, and spilling out over nipple-covering golden saucers. Our eyes are gifted with anatomically dubious sideboob from the top of a stairwell, in repose on a bed, and as a quiet little accent above a pair of ambitiously angled appendages that reach high in the sky towards the real star of the show – the ubiquitous butt crack.
Like the opening shot of Lost in Translation minus the metaphor, Dejah Thoris #0 is a slow, long linger on a set of transparent panties. The girl’s (and the imprisoned animal’s arses) are front-and-center, while the menfolk sensibly hide their haunches behind flowing capes and loincloths. What could have been intriguing, coming-of-age storytelling thus turns into yet another exhausting narrative challenge – how to overextend a monologue for maximum number of T&A-highlighting poses. Sigh.
5 out of 10
From earlier this week —
What books did YOU read this week? We want to know! Tell us about those feelings of yours in the comments section below.