Every self-respecting nerd has a favorite comic book motif; from time-traveling adventures to mistaken identities, there’s thousands to choose from. For me, it’s always been alternate versions of characters — mirror-image villains, clad in differently colored costumes. When I was just a young lad and my eyes first fell upon Reverse Flash, I simply fell in love. Now, whenever I see a divergent hero, I can’t help but go ga-ga. So imagine the noise I made when I came across this month’s issue of Chip N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers and saw a group of doppelgänger ne’er-do-wells.
(It was a high-pitched squeal. Please don’t judge me.)
So here we are at the fifth issue of Chip N’ Dale, something that I celebrate to no end. Ever since BOOM! Studios announced it was diving into the animated side of my childhood, I was both elated and nervous — elated that I would once again get to have these animated gems in my life, nervous that they would be terrible. Once I saw the great work Darkwing Duck writer Ian Brill was doing, I became more nervous that they’d take it away from me. Luckily, the book became a hit with readers and other Disney Afternoon titles soon followed. Just like Darkwing Duck, Chip N’ Dale, really delivers the goods.
This month’s issue follows our intrepid heroes as they take a long-deserved rest after their globetrotting, four-issue adventure. Unfortunately, this R&R doesn’t last long as a mysterious group of miscreants calling themselves the Danger Rangers begin throwing mayhem around for no good reason. And when everything is said and done, more questions are presented than answers and we get a great new foil for our team.
This is a solid issue, especially because it tackles a problem most licensed properties face: introducing new characters. Of course, you have to make sure that the regulars as well as fan-favorites are represented accurately, but there’s only so much of that you can include before the book gets stale. Ian Brill has already injected new blood into Darkwing Duck in the form of new villains and wastes no time doing the same here. Within three pages of this month’s issue, we’re introduced to these Danger Rangers, which include a tough biker-looking turtle, a punky and inventive female mouse, a beetle with a chip on his shoulder and a pair of rats who look suspiciously like the weasels from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Awesome.
Ian Brill nails the characters and feel of the show so well that the end result is just as good as the cartoon we know and love. He keeps the tone lighthearted and fun without dumbing anything down (I’ve been praising him during this whole review and will probably do so forever). This month we have two artists bringing us the visuals: regular artist Leonel Castellani starts us off on the first 3 pages until Ricardo Garcia takes over for the next 17. Since both have a great style and look, I had no qualms with the early art switch. Both artists really make me feel like I’ve got the cartoon playing on my TV.
Chip N’ Dale Rescue Rangers #5 is really great book (and a good jumping on point) that’s happy-go-lucky and engaging. I’ll be eagerly awaiting my TaleSpin monthly, BOOM! Studios (cough cough). Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to put on a goatee and try to ruin my doppelganger’s life.