Review: Dodge City #1

Darryll Robson Darryll Robson
Expert Contributor
March 6th, 2018

Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.

Review: Dodge City #1
Comics
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Review of: Dodge City #1
Price:
Fast

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On March 6, 2018
Last modified:March 6, 2018

Summary:

Fun, bright and energetic. A simple but effective opening issue to a teen comic. A cool addition to Boom! Studios expanding sporting titles.

Review of: Dodge City #1
Price:
Fast

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On March 6, 2018
Last modified:March 6, 2018

Summary:

Fun, bright and energetic. A simple but effective opening issue to a teen comic. A cool addition to Boom! Studios expanding sporting titles.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

The sports comic is popular over at Boom! Studios. New out this week is the next title inline, Dodge City, about the competitive world of dodge ball. Our contributor, Darryll Robson, picks up the first issue to see if it is one to catch or to dodge.

Wrestling, Roller Derby, Fencing and now dodge ball; Boom! Studios is taking up the shelves with comics based on competitive sports. In some respects, it makes a lot of sense, especially for the audience that these comics are aimed at because the sporting backdrop has that natural drama and tension built in to it. All the writers and artist have to do is create believable characters to love and hate and you are on to a winning formula. The question becomes, is there enough room for another teen based sports comic from the same publisher?

Credit: Boom! Studios

Synopsis

The Jazz Pandas are battling against the Kettle Balls and the newbie Tomas feels out of his depth. His introduction to the readers is with a ball to the face and a misunderstanding of the rules illustrates just how little he knows about the sport he’s currently playing.

As the match continues, with the Jazz Pandas fighting a losing battle, Tomas tries to not suck at the sport and unwittingly manages to make a friend.

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Analysis

The framing for this opening issue of Dodge City is a fascinating one as it is all set within a single game of dodge ball. The writer, Josh Trujillo, uses the game as a way of introducing the characters to the reader in an action packed situation. The characters and the readers barely get a chance to breath as the game unfolds across the pages.

Credit: Boom! Studios

Tomas is the reader’s gateway into the comic as Trujillo makes him new to the Jazz Panda team, and to the sport, in the same way many of the readers will be. We are all introduced to the team and the game via Tomas’ experiences on the court. This works in the comics’ favour as it slowly eases the reader into the world, releasing bits of information as and when is needed. Unlike the first issue of Slam!, Booms roller derby comic, which tried to teach the reader all about the sport in the first issue. In Dodge City Trujillo focuses on the characters and lets the sport speak for itself.

That is not to say the reader is expected to know the sport to understand the comic. It is irrelevant if you know the rules, Tomas doesn’t know what is going on so by only introducing the rules as they become relevant to Tomas, the reader gets the impression of the character being out of his depth. Trujillo deliberately creates a sense of confusion to heighten the fast paced action of the sport. If you don’t know what’s going on, that’s okay because it will make Tomas’ plight that much easier to relate to.

Credit: Boom! Studios

The script is as fast paced as a game of Dodge Ball, with humorous quips bouncing back and forth between the characters. The artwork is bold and expressionistic. Cara McGee employs a cartoony style with each of the characters having some exaggerated features. This fits the tone of the comic and makes it more appealing to the teenage target audience. The game action is full of energy with a constant moving of either character or ball or both. By the end you feel as though you have had a workout and this is down to the constant sense of movement which McGee gets into the pages. Not every panel is high octane but the sense of a fast game being played is always there, in the background, just behind the gutters of the panels.

The array of bright colours provided by Brittany Peer helps to accentuate the quickly changing emotions of the players while also making the comic as a whole stand out. It is vibrant and bold and instantly appealing. The panels burst from the page thanks to the delightful colouring. It adds an element of energetic enjoyment to the game and the narrative.

Overall, it is bright, it is fun and it is definitely fast paced. Dodge City manages to avoid the trap of being rules preachy, like issue 1 of Slam! and allows the reader to discover the sport along with the central character. It might not be as instantly engaging as Fence but it is a wonderful addition to Boom! Studios’ collection of sporting comics.

Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he remembers his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson, but he does remember to write more about comics on his website comiccutdown.com

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Dodge City #1

  • 4

Fast

Fun, bright and energetic. A simple but effective opening issue to a teen comic. A cool addition to Boom! Studios expanding sporting titles.

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