ADVANCE REVIEW! Double Jumpers #1 will go on sale May 30, 2012.
The premise hooked me and the comic delivered. Double Jumpers is about a gang of MMO game developers who accidently switch places with the characters of their artificial world. I'm a part-time gamer, only really dabbled in online game a few times, mostly unsuccessfully, so this player-friendly comic isn't directly up my alley.
However, the four-issue limited carries a certain confidence and bravado that make it work. Dave Dwonch and Bill Blankenship present a thought-out, well-crafted work that feels authentic and entertains. Double Jumpers is created by gamers, and it doesn't hurt they know how to write and draw too.
The cast is chock full of quick-witted, generally good people, but nobody notable enough to highlight. Dwonch develops organic tension between them pretty early in the story, and from the outset they are generally discernible from each other despite all being wiseasses who share similar occupations and interests. Initially, I was going to critique Double Jumpers on its slow opening, which lead to not much happening in the first quarter of the series, but considering the opening page shows the series' ending I trust the creators have a satisfactory vision.
The whole thing feels like a printed webcomic, which may or may not be an endorsement. Blankenship's art is sound, but the handful of characters feel a little like sprites, to borrow a term. The style is hyper-animated, but does its job. Blankenship brings the heat with some high-action panels, and vibrant coloring. For the subject material, and the tone, his talents fits the piece.
The story's big switch happens via the tried and true electronics plus liquid equals science fiction formula. It's a little hollow, but gets us to the meat of the plot. Another convenient development is where the armor and gear that the game characters-turned-humans have on at the end of the issue. Yet, for every little disbelief or fallacy I can point to an element I love that balances it out. The numerous nods to gamer culture, and the respect for the tropes and quirks of the subculture makes this a strangely intimate comic that I think could appeal to a wide range of readers. The vulgarity doesn't hurt either.
Double Jumpers is a fresh idea off to an exciting start. It's worth a look for those seeking something with heart and charm.
Jamil Scalese is just like you — an avid comics reader and lover of sequential art. Residing in Pittsburgh, PA, he is an unapologetic Deadpool fan, devotee of the Food Network and proud member of Steelers Nation. Check out his original, ongoing webcomic And Then There Were Zombies and follow his subpar tweeting at @jamilscalese.