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Simpsons Comics #155

Posted: Saturday, June 20, 2009
By: Ray Tate

Batton Lash
Tone Rodriquez(p), Andrew Pepoy(i), Art Villanueva(c)
Bongo
The story opens with Bart, Millhouse and Martin experiencing ennui over the crappy event-driven comic books that flooded over their beloved hero Radioactive Man. Meanwhile, Radioactive Man's new owner Krusty the Clown is puzzled by the sales plummeting. Enter Lindsey Nagle and her plans to change Radioactive Man forever.

Batton Lash exposes every dumb move the Big Two ever made and from these misfires weaves a crazy quilt. The events are even more hilarious because Lash does not tweak them all that much. Witness the crippling of Lure Lass, but please note that the parody will walk again. Not so the source of derision.

Lash touches on the real world contingencies associated with the event-driven market that affect the comic book sellers. No doubt, comic book shop owners will nod in sympathy when witnessing boxes of Big Stupid Event issues growing cobwebs in the Comic Book Guy’s closet.

The story is so delicious that one may overlook the artwork, but Tone Rodriquez, Andrew Pepoy and Art Villanueva make that impossible. Their illustration of the unbroken succession of familiar comic book gimmicks emphasizes the overall weakness of such devices. The expressions on Bart and his friends are unusual and affecting. Bart's confusion and dejection mirror realistic looks. They contrast the wild takes of Krusty as he watches his empire crumble. Something about Krusty’s face always strikes me as funny, and the art team captures that nuance.

Batton Lash produces one of the keenest satires in Simpsons Comics. He targets the Big Two, and he hits them precisely in the bulls-eye.



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