Pullbox Reviews: Wrong Earth #1- Silver Age virtues meet Modern Age grit…

  • The Wrong Earth #1
    • Stinger in The Fairground Warrior
      • Written by Paul Constant
      • Illustrated & lettered by Frank Cammuso
    • “Hud” Hornet’s Holiday in Hell
      • Written by Grant Morrison
      • Illustrated by Rob Steen
    • Too Much Coffee Man
      • By cartoonist Shannon Wheeler
  • Ahoy Comics
  • Available now in digital & print

Earth-Alpha.

Dragonflyman and his trusty sidekick Stinger, daring doers of good deeds and vanquishers of foes most foul, face the dread menace of Number One! The daring duo will brave the horrors of the fiend’s latest deathtrap, the Mirror-Oven! Then the terrific twosome will take the fight for fair play to Number One’s dastardly henchmen, Numbers Three, Four, & Five. Finally, the chase is on as Dragonflyman & Stinger attempt to foil Number One’s latest ploy to escape the grip of Lady Justice as the criminal mastermind steps through a mysterious mirror and slips to…

Earth-Omega.

Dragonfly, the dark avenger is in the fight for his life against the sadistic Number One and his goons. No tactic is too extreme and no shot is too cheap in this all or nothing bid to bring the maniac’s reign of terror to a stop, once and for all. No backup is coming. His partner is long dead and a corrupt police force is more interested in shakedowns than takedowns. In a grim world of fallen angels, the glimmer of hope only serves to attract the crows.

Two worlds. Two eras. May they never cross paths.

And then along come Tom Peyer and Jamal Igle, to ask the question, “What would happen to a Silver Age hero brought into a Modern Age story?” How might a champion of yesteryear cope with the gritty worlds of today’s popular comics? What might a villain undeterred by moral boundaries of any kind do when faced with an atmosphere of moral boundaries and codes? On the flip side, what might become of Silver Age villains when running up against a hardened Modern Age anti-hero? I’m no spoiler, but I’m going to tell you straight up front that it’s nothing nice.

Written by Tom Peyer, The Wrong Earth tackles some pretty impressive groundwork right from the start as two worlds that should never meet are slammed together. It’s the kind of left of center concept that could go horribly wrong very fast, or it could spin into some really interesting explorations. I’m happy to report that so far, Peyer is keeping this one in the latter court. What was most impressive was Peyer’s ability to uphold the different attitudes and themes in play, even when it all starts to spin off the rails as the very different worlds collide. The optimistic Dragonflyman is, initially at least, unprepared for the grit of the Modern Age, just as the cynical Dragonfly is caught on his heels when faced with a brighter day (I haven’t even touched on what happens when a certain psychotic megalomaniac comes face to face with a certain happy-go-lucky sidekick). Through all of the chaos, Peyer is able to reflect the two comic book settings through the reactions of his various “fish out of water” characters, without losing track of the variables. It’s as fine a juggling act as I could imagine for this kind of bonkers story.

Likewise, artist and co-creator Jamal Igle captures the visual flair of both settings. The Silver Age appeal of Dragonflyman’s city is all bright colors, whacky more than deadly villains, and wholesome action. When he switches gears to the Modern Age style of Earth-Omega, Igle adapts his designs to follow suit with everything seeming to carry sharper edges. The most striking changes come with Igle’s character designs, as the multiple variants crossover and interact with their counterparts… often with disastrous results. The entire artistic team is on point with the shifts back and forth between worlds. Igle’s line work is solidified in Juan Castro’s inks, and Andy Troy keeps pace as the color palette shifts from bright to grim. Visually, this crew of artists might have found a more difficult or complicated project to work on, but looking at this one I’m not really sure what that might have been.

The Wrong Earth is a fantastic example of what happens when writer and artist are working together on a shared concept. I’m late to the party on this one, but I stumbled into it on ComiXology Unlimited and had to give props where they’re due. The main story has the promise of complete and off the wall insanity, while bonus stories and a creator Q&A help to round out the world(s) being explored.

Final Score: 11/13

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