Dolphin Squad II: A Death In The Pod [Part Two]

7

Good

DolphinSquadII3-minLacking much of the seriousness of this graphic novel’s opening third, due largely to Laser-Eye and Vinny only occasionally dwelling upon the demise of the Pink Protector, Danny J. Weston’s script for the ‘middle’ of his publication instead focuses far more upon the fact that the “squad are back together”, and the ramifications that follow as the duo crucially confront the “vicious varmint” behind Fabian’s tearful termination. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more pulse-pounding read than the adventure the “creator of [these] comic book crime fighters” provides, with the “parachuting porpoises” not only encountering the nefarious fake moustache-wearing workers of Plumb Plumbers, “experts in leaks and taps”, but brain-washed pistol-packing polar bears, “a man-made, metal, miniature mountain”, the despicable Doctor Helfert, and a truly surreal advertisement for Crabby Ruth bars – “only the crabbiest, chewiest chocolate, tastes like crab sticks never tasted before…”

Arguably the highlight of these “full colour” pages however, is the sense-shattering car chase between the super-team’s “turbot-charged” Marine Machine and the motor-bike riding semiaquatic rodent, Eva Kbeavil. This sequence is an absolute delight to peruse with Vinny even seemingly replicating Sean Connery’s ‘miraculous’ Las Vegas car tip trick from the 1971 James Bond movie “Diamonds Are Forever”, by steering his speedster onto just its right wheels in order to navigate a “narrow escape” down a pedestrian only walkway; “I gotta admit that’s some fancy driving!” Of course, with a mischievous moniker like Evil Kbeaver such a preposterous pursuit was only ever going to end with the dam-building delinquent gunning his two-wheeled getaway ride up a ramp and over a formidable-looking barbed wire fence. Yet, even this impressive felonious feat brings a smile to the face, as the broad-tailed lawbreaker subsequently crashes into the office of the Flotsam Supermax Prison’s warden, Robert Gunton, and is immediately arrested.

Somewhat less pacey, though equally as entertaining, is the Dolphin Squad’s tongue-in-cheek exploration of the devious doctor’s underground lair in the South Pole. Having almost literally battered this “72 page” publication’s audience into submission with a non-stop sequence of eye-watering wise-cracks on board a chartered S.E.A.W.O.R.L.D. aeroplane, this infiltration of the clichéd German-sounding scientist’s secret base is just as remorselessly packed with puns, as well as notable nods to the spy-fi genre, such as Laser-Eye and the “world’s angriest dolphin” needing to negotiation some giant fan blades inside a ventilation duct, or Weston’s drawings of the devilish Doctor Helfert’s personal quarters looking as if they’d been crafted by production designer Sir Kenneth Adam himself.

This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.
7

Good

Reviewed by
For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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