PREVIEW: “Edison Rex” #6 from Monkeybrain Comics

WRITER:  Chris Roberson
ART:  Dennis Culver
COLOR ART:  Stephen Downer

The newest issue in the opus that is “Edison Rex”, issue #6, is to be released tomorrow, March 13th, from Monkeybrain Comics.  I had a chance to read this issue prior to release, and was very happy to have done so.  This is an exciting, somewhat tongue-in-cheek comic that has all a title needs in spades.  Following the adventures of Edison Rex, a super villain turned super hero (after the death of his nemesis Valiant makes him rethink his role in society), this title deals with the pressure and expectations of the populace and media bent on keeping the status quo.  They just won’t let Edison and his growing cast of team mates be the heroes they are striving so hard to become.

Issue #6 find Edison Rex and his crew - his main companion and right hand M’alizz and two other villains-turned heroes, Cerebella and L.A.R.V.A. - in a summary of some of the battles they had fought over the month since issue #5.  We see fights that seem to have been desperate last stand-type wins, and the like, all beautifully rendered and creatively thought out.  The one panel summaries have more life and action in them than most comics do for a whole issue, they’re just that well done.  Back at Edison’s homebase, he is angered to find that the press still refers to him as a ‘Super Villain’, even with all the good they’ve done.  Upon mentioning legislation being filed to remove Edison and his crew from the city, this and the villain comment angers Edison, who is stunned that they still demand on not allowing him to be a hero.  That, or the public conciousness is so set on the villain aspect that they can’t see the team’s actions clearly, something touched on earlier in the title by calling ferocious battles with actual villains a partnership between them and Edison.  Responding to his frustration is M’alizz, whose constant want to conquer Earth - as opposed to saving it - which is a running idea throughout these first 6 issues, leading up to this newest one.  Her battle-hardened character always seems at odds with Edison’s plans, and it makes me wonder if this will be explored in future issues.

Upon hearing an announcement on the news that Edison is downtown “issuing threats and ultimatums” when he is actually at home, he quickly gathers the team and heads out.  Upon finding the disturbance in the downtown area, he finds that it is Platypus Rex (revealed at the end of last issue), and a group of ‘variants’ of Edison, all from different parallel worlds across the multiverse, and all dressed exactly as he is.  Platypus is joined by some of his team - Regina Tesla and Konig Von Braun - and are interrupted in their demanding the location of Edison Rex by the very man himself showing up on the scene.  Through some conversation and flashbacks, we learn that these variants are on a quest - after bringing order to their own planets and becoming bored, they began to travel around other worlds for some adventure.  This is how they collect other variants, but only those that have defeated their individual nemesis, proving their worth to the ’cause’.  The cause?  It seems a ‘Dark Blight’ has been enslaving countless worlds, stealing their histories and constantly growing in power.  They know the only way to stop this Blight from controlling the entire multiverse is to gather all of the worthy variants for an attack.

The fully revealed idea behind their fight is explained, making them more villain than hero, choosing horrible ways to ‘remove’ any world that has either no variant at all, or whose variant has lost their battle with their version of Valiant.  When asked if he would join their cause after having ‘defeated’ Valiant, Edison weighs the options, eventually ordering his team to attack.  He’s there to protect the world, now, not rule it.  A large fight ensues, and through the use of some surprise tech, it ends on quite the interesting note.  After the battle is finished, Edison makes a vow that, no matter what may be coming for them, it would have to deal with him.  Finally making a very clear speech to the public and press that had gathered by this point, he explains the real motives behind what he’s doing, and reveals his ‘greatest weapon’ to be used on anyone trying to get city ordinances and the like to get him out of the city.  While this ‘weapon’ is more pun than a threat, it’s hilariously delivered, as if Edison has announced the scariest weapon of them all.  I’ll let you find out what it is, as I really feel this was a surprising and perfectly executed bit of dialogue.

This title brings a ton of things to the table without feeling unbalanced or losing it’s momentum.  This newest issue #6 really caps off the first chunk of Edison Rex’s story, and had me flipping pages as fast as I could read them without skimming.  The artwork by Dennis Culver, with amazing color work from Stephen Downer, creates  a wonderfully alive world with characters who are drawn big and bold.  The color work is especially important here, as it’s use creates a very expressive color scheme, some awesomely colored characters, and just leaves everything vibrant and seemingly buzzing with energy.

The script from writer Chris Roberson is tons of fun, but with enough emotional drama and action to sell the story.  His writing covers a wide range of ideas and situations, and I really found myself drawn to the premise of this book right away.  The near parody aspects of this book are great, and fit right in with the world as it is represented.  Valiant is dressed in Superman’s blue & red while Edison Rex is in Lex Luthor’s green.  The terrorist group H.O.R.N.E.T. is almost like a mixture of Marvel’s ‘Hydra’ and ‘A.I.M.’, and the members even get corresponding green and yellow suits (the colors of the mentioned Marvel groups) by the end of #6.  M’aliz is dressed in what looks to be a version of Shi’ar dress, also from Marvel, and Valiant even has a hidden home, much like Supes’ Fortress of Solitude.  There’s even a mention of how it could have been located in the ‘arctic wastes’, an obvious nod to what the comic is having fun with.  None of these come off as rip-offs or poorly thought out, and add to the fun more than anything.  Plus, where else can you find such awesome character names as ‘Nuclear Norseman’, ‘Mutortoise’, and ‘Gladiator Gladstone’?

Having read the first six issues of this, I have to say that I will be back for the next issue.  It’s just too much crazy fun.  I may have overused the term ‘fun’ here, but that’s the main point.  It’s 100% ‘fun’.  It’s 100% hilarious, 100% beautifully executed on all points, and a comic I must recommend highly.

Issue #6 comes out tomorrow, March 13th, and is only .99 cents, so where’s your excuse?  Check out this blast of a title and much more at Monkeybrain Comics’ website, found here:  This company has been shelling out some amazingly cool books lately, and this is by far no exception.  Get this book!




Preview by Feral Fang

Follow Feral Fang on Twitter:  @FeralFang27

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