(Dynamite Entertainment, 2014)
Writer – Bill Willingham
Artist – Sergio Fernandez Davila
Colors – Wes Hartman
Letters – Rob Steen
Main Cover – Joe Benitez
Character Designs – Johnny Desjardins
Welcome back dear readers to Legenderry, that lovely, steamy, punky world that Bill Willingham has built for us. Within are lovely, deadly ladies, dashing rogues, faithful sidekicks, and dastardly villains working with shadowy corporations. It’s a beautiful thing.
When last we left our heroes, the Green Hornet and Kato had just rescued the damsel, Miss Spadarossa, in their dirigible, and were speeding away to safety. In issue 3 we are introduced to the new characters of Steve Austin, Oscar Goldman, and a rumor of Dr. Moreau. The plot around the black mass thickens and agents of the enemy are aboard the dirigible Victory, hoping to capture Spadarossa and ditch the balloon in the ocean.
For those of you born after the seventies, Steve Austin is the Six-Million Dollar Man, and Oscar Goldman is the inventor that saved Colonel Austin’s life. In this case though, Austin has been incapacitated by an “auto-gyro” accident that has left him without legs, an arm, and an eye. Insert Oscar Goldman and the unbelievable sum of…wait for it…six thousand dollars…and you can guess what is coming. Perhaps you remember that Dr. Moreau was the cause of some scandal in the fictional world concerning…untoward experiments on animals? There is some of that as well. Be prepared for a thoroughly enjoyable ride which ends in a typically cliffhanger-type moment.
Sergio Fernandez Davila’s style is coming through more in this issue, with the battle scenes wonderfully depicted and the monsters coming to beautiful comic life on the page. He is able to draw not only the machines required for a steampunk world, but the beasts that reside within this particular one, and to blend them together for a seamless fit.
Willingham has brought his own brand of mash-up into this world, adding characters together from literature and comic books and radio dramas that would normally not find each other in the pages of a book. For as much guff as fan fiction takes in this Internet laden world, we often forget that the biggest fans are often the people that are writing and drawing the comics we love. Willingham is at his heart a fan, not only of comics but also of fiction itself, and the end result is wonderful fan fiction. Of course Willingham writes it better than anyone else, so when you read it through the story feels like a completely original concept. I could see someone who didn’t know these characters being totally taken in; wondering at Willingham’s originality, and in some sense there is that as well. It takes a certain kind of genius to reinvent characters, and he has proven it over and again in Fables that he has the writing chops to take on our most beloved characters and put them elsewhere to, sometimes, greater effect.
Legenderry continues to be an enjoyable ride on par with Fables in content, but unequalled in steam-powered excitement and literary fun.
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Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.