The Wrong Earth #6
Writers: Tom Peyer (Main story), Paul Constant (Back-up)
Artists: Jamal Igle (Main story), Gary Eskine (Back-up)
The Wrong Earth follows 60s TV show Batman
Issue #6 of The Wrong Earth marks the conclusion of the “first season”, with the title returning in 2020, and it is a fantastic issue to end on. Peyer’s deconstruction and subversion of superhero media tropes are intelligent but never stifling. Instead of being a book that’s trying very hard to be clever and to satirize superheroes, The Wrong Earth manages to be both interesting and actually entertaining, using its deconstruction in clever ways. A big part of this, for me, is how Dragonflyman of Earth Alpha reacts to his new, darker, more grim surroundings of Earth Omega. The easy route to take would be to simply portray him as ineffective and stupid, a light-hearted goofy character unable to cope with this violent world. Instead, the violent world can’t cope with him, unprepared for a man who has whacky inventions like pills that grant bullet immunity.
The Wrong Earth #6 retains the incredibly tight pacing that the series has displayed so far- only 6 issues in, and The Wrong Earth’s plotline has already advanced more than some books manage in double the pages, and without feeling at all rushed. This issue sees Dragonflyman and new sidekick Stinger II wrap up the remains of Number One’s gang, Dragonfly/Dragonflyman deal with two similar problems in very similar ways, and a surprising and enticing, but very
The characterization in this book is one of its strongest elements, especially with regards to Dragonflyman/Dragonfly. Despite being created from the ground-up to be representative of the archetypes of weird 60s superheroes and gritty 80s/90s superheroes (with a heavy emphasis on Batman), the pair
Jamal Igle’s art is excellent. It is expressive, fluid and dynamic, with a slightly cartoonish aesthetic that lends itself well to the writing without looking silly. Character expressions are extremely clear and perfectly convey their moods, and there’s a couple of choice moments where Igle really shines through on character expressions in a way that makes the panel very dramatic. Andy Troy’s colours are a big benefit to the book too, costumes are either perfectly bright and vibrant or more neutral and dulled out, appropriate to each character. The colouring also helps draw the clear contrast between the two Earths; Earth Alpha is renditioned in brighter colours and sunlight, while Earth Omega is given darker, more moody vibes.
In addition to the main story, there is a back-up story and some short prose stories (a feature of all Ahoy Comics publications). The back-up story follows one particular encounter of Dragonfly and a nemesis. Paul Constant’s writing and Gary Eskine’s art are solid. It’s not an especially revalationary story, but it does offer a little more insight into the character of Dragonfly, and the art isn’t as compelling as Igle’s but does a good job of capturing the grim tone of Earth Omega. The three short stories are also all well written and a neat addition to the main book.
Intelligent, engaging and just all around incredibly fun, The Wrong Earth #6 is a great conclusion to the first "season" of an excellent comic, with some fun short stories packed in for good measure.