Writer/Artist: Ty Templeton, Andrew PePoy(i), Nathan Hamill & Art Villanueva(c)
"Homer, there's a man here who thinks he can help you!"
"No, he's a scientist."
"Batman's a scientist!"--Marge vs. the Monorail, The Simpsons
Batman is on Homer's mind when he calls for help in the latest issue of Bart Simpson Comics. The Batman gag of course is to be expected from Ty Templeton who was an excellent Batman writer and artist. This compliment applies as well to his work on Bongo's line.
The story opens with Bartman--Bart's alter-ego--returning home after a long day of crimefighting. I don't actually understand Bartman either. Just go with it. Meanwhile, due to series of unfortunate realistic events Dr. Colossus promises vengeance on the sleepy and stupid town of Springfield.
Dr. Colossus was introduced in a throwaway gag on The Simpsons. He is an evil genius on par with Pearl Forrester from Mystery Science Theater 3000. That's right. He's incompetent.
Dr. Colossus' plan while diabolical is also deranged, and it actually obliterates Bart's pet peeves. So our hero Bartman isn't really motivated to change things back. Fortunately, Templeton's story has a built-in-escape clause, and Templeton's smart enough to see it. What's more, he uses the device as a catalyst to hilarity. In addition to the long-joke plot where there's a build up and a punch-line capping the finale, Templeton slips in the sight gags and the pop culture references, Blackula meets Blade being my favorite, we've all come to expect from the show.
Templeton has a trickier task than usual for this issue of Bart Simpsons Comics. He must not only mimic the style seen on the show and create the illusion of animation for the regular cast but also consistently reinforce that stamp while reimagining the characters in slightly different forms. Given the fact that these characters are not easy to draw, it's doubly impressive that Templeton also nails their look and their behavior when they're presented in different stages. Inker Andrew PePoy is on hand to pick up some of the slack from Templeton, and his inks nicely over dramatize things like Bart's mask and Colossus' mad cackles. Colorist Art Villanueva gets some aid from Nathan Hamill, and all the artists must be commended for their at times intricate detail and rainbow of colors that make the Bongo books so attractive.
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