Written by: Matt Fraction, Pencils and colours by: Terry Dodson, Inks by: Rachel Dodson, Letters by: Clayton Cowles.
Claire and the Cross Draw Kid are out in the snowy weather looking for ghosts and ice skating, when he gets an urgent message that something has happened in the retirement home. One of the residents has gone missing. The Cross Draw Kid suspects that this old guy, the ghosts in the tunnels, and Claire are all tied together somehow. Claire asks her family to investigate further while Cross Draw checks out the retirement home. Since Claire is on her last vial of formula, if something happens, can she even deal with it all alone?
It’s been more than 2 months since we last got an issue of Adventureman. I did have to refresh myself re-reading the last few issues. I’m not sure why there continue to be such delays, but it does hurt the continuity, as I’m sure it’s not just me who forgets things. In this issue, writer Matt Fraction again increases the character count and has some fun with some quirky adventure moments. However, it did get slightly confusing. Claire and the Cross Draw Kid decide to go searching the subway tunnels for the ghosts that Claire saw in issue 7. . . and then they are ice skating. It seems like they are on a date, but they don’t define it and it just comes across as confusing, as they aren’t sure what’s going on, so it doesn’t give us the audience much hope either. We also get a moment at the end where the Cross Draw Kid just knows Claire is in danger, but we don’t know how he knows.
Not only was it confusing, but another moment made me question the choices made by the creative team. Tommy is bribed to help with the research and is told for everything he can find, he will get a visit from Auntie Harriet. This referred to Harriet Tubman being on the $20 bill. Although this hasn’t happened yet IRL. By doing this for current readers, this can take them out of the story, as it then means that this is taking place in a different universe or the future. This is a shame, as even with all the mystical elements, the series has stayed rather grounded, so it could be in our reality, but this makes the reader question when and where this is taking place, rather than focusing on the story being told.
What surprised me from a writing perspective was there was a conversation between Claire and Cross Draw that really resonated with me. They talk about kids wearing adult skin suits, as Claire feels like a child still and wonders when or if this will change. This is something I’ve been thinking, too. We are watching our parents grow as we do. We may look to them and other “elders” for answers, but in reality they are still growing too, they just have more life experience. It was a very profound moment that connected with me, and I would think many others too, and it’s something that is good to hear so we don’t all feel like failures.
Now, normally I’m praising the artwork by the Dodsons, and for the most part it’s good in this issue, however there are some panels that just don’t seem right. The panel above for example Cross Draw's eyes don’t fit the face, it’s like he’s got one lazy eye. A rare oversight and something so small, but I would expect so much more from the Dodsons as their artwork has been almost flawless throughout.
Overall, unfortunately a rather dull and confusing issue that just took me out of the story.
I rate it 2 out of 5 as I do think the art for the majority of the issue was good.
Adventureman issue 9 will be released by Image Comics on 25th May from your Local Comic Shop as well as comixology
Andrew Carr was blessed to grow up watching the animated series of Batman, X-Men, and his favorite, Spider-Man.This started his dive into the comics world, which resulted in meeting his amazing cosplaying wife Imogen. They live in England with their Sinister Six dogs.