Thursday, May 30, 2013


Its been a long week here in the Cranky household, with car troubles, job interviews, and games to catch up on.  So for this weeks X-Media Wednesday, I needed something light, something fun.  And so I turned to comics.  Specifically, comics based around one of my favorite action platforming series from the PS2 era, Ratchet & Clank.  I have loved almost all of the games (we dont like to talk about All4One around here...), so how did the comics measure up?

Set after the events of A Crack In Time, our heroes have retired to Ratchets home planet of Veldin.  Ratchet wants nothing more than some peace and quiet, fixing ships and avoiding any action. But action has other plans, and forces the duo back into duty.  After losing the Galactic Presidential election to Captain Qwark, Artemis Vogg is using a dimension-bending comet shard to steal planets.  Right away our intrepid heroes are dragged into this dastardly plot, and they must save the galaxy.  Again.  For like...the millionth time.

I liked this series.  It packs a decent amount of fun into a six-issue run of comics, and tells just enough of a story to keep you entertained.  I think if it had been any longer or any shorter, it might have lost something, but six issues was the sweet spot.  It manages to balance the silly, fun tone that has always been the hallmark of the series, but also carries that little bit of extra emotional gravitas from the PS3s "Future" series, rather than the pure goofiness of the PS2 era games.  It doesnt really add to the series canon, doesnt detract from it either.  Sure, its complete fluff, but its decent and entertaining fluff. 

The writer, T.J. Fixman, is obviously a fan of the games.   The whole thing definitely feels like a Ratchet & Clank game, tonally.  Its chock-full of nice little touches and nods to the fans.  Familiar planet names, fan favorite characters popping up here and there, and my personal favorite, a Courtney Gears pin-up poster on the wall of a prison cell.  It was nice to see one of my favorite forgotten characters, the Bill Clinton-esque former Galactic President Phyronix make a return, even if he never really did anything in terms of the plot.

I think that my only complaint about the entire thing would be that Adam Archers chosen art style for the piece is weird.  Dont let the cover art fool you; it looks nothing like the inside art.  I actually like the cover art more than the inside art.  Being a longtime fan of the series, the dissonance between the games art style and established look of the characters, and the strangely softer, cutesy look of the comics is hard to swallow.  I mean, dont get me wrong; the art is by absolutely no means bad.  Its actually quite beautiful, and I think Archer did a fantastic job.  Its just...different.  Everyone has little eyes and anime mouths.  Captain Qwarks chin is far too small. Its almost normal human sized.  Thats just not right!  Qwarks gigantic chin is a staple of his character design.

Is this a comic you need to rush out to the stores and buy?   No.  Its not a mandatory requirement for your collection.  But if youre a fan of the games, its a great little addition to the universe, and worth a read.  If youre like me, youve probably walked into a comic shop knowing you wanted something, but didnt know quite what you were in the mood for.  If you happen to find this one on the shelves, its certainly worth your time.

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