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Preview: Penultiman #5

PENULTIMAN #5

(W) Tom Peyer
(A) Alan Robinson
(C) Alan Robinson
February 17, 2021
$3.99

Final issue! Penultiman’s artificial understudy, Antepenultiman, has patiently tried to repair the superhero’s self-loathing attitude—but now the android’s patience is gone! Can a sidekick force a hero to heal?

Also: bonus illustrated prose stories!

PENULTIMAN #5

Underrated: The Wrong Earth

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: The Wrong Earth


I initially stumbled over The Wrong Earth because the first issue of the second volume caught my eye. I enjoyed it, a lot, and decided to circle back and order the trade of the first volume.

What’s the book about? Well because I don’t see the need to rewrite the publisher’s blurb for the trade, I’ll paste it below.

“On dark, gritty Earth-Omega, masked vigilante Dragonfly punishes evil maniacs and evades corrupt authorities. On sun-splashed Earth-Alpha, costumed crook-catcher Dragonflyman upholds the letter of the law. Now they’re trapped on each other’s worlds, where even the good guys don’t share their values!”

If the idea of the Silver Age Batman or the Adam West Batman and Frank Miller’s Dark Knight switching places sounds awesome, to you, well, that’s because it is. But it’s also so much more than just that elevator pitch.

Written by Tom Peyer, featuring art by Jamal Igle, with inks and colours provided by Juan Castro and Andy Troy respectively. Rounding out the creative team is letterer Rob Steen, who’s contributions to the comic are often subtle until you catch the sound effects giving you a nostalgic smile. Wrong Earth is the six issue miniseries that launched publisher Ahoy Comics, who some of you may recognise from comics such as Captain Ginger, Second Coming and Penultiman – but we’re not looking at those today. No, this column is about a book that hooked me from the premise, and then surprised me with just how well executed everything was.

A lot of superhero stories that can be seen to take inspiration from others (in the case, Batman), often struggle to tell a compelling story and also stand apart as anything other than a lesser imitation when all is said and done. Wrong Earth leans into the familiarity of the Silver Age with gleeful abandon; Peyer adds a little more realism to the era without sacrificing any of its fun – but he certainly calls out the foolishness of it all as you see the gritty Dragonfly loses his mind at how innocent the world of Earth: Alpha. Conversely, the reader is commiserating with Dragonfly Man as he realizes that Earth: Omega’s world is a living nightmare – and yet you can’t help but laugh as his Silver Age tricks inexplicably work in the modern era. There’s nothing quite like the sense of familiarity as he explains how he escaped a death trap with his cunning, logic, and a little bit of comics magic.

It shouldn’t work, but it does. It REALLY does.

When it comes to The Wrong Earth, I think I’ve found one of my favourite new stories. It is equal parts the charm of the Silver Age and the gritty sensibilities of modern comics, and yet it works in delivering one of the most entertaining stories from start to finish in this volume. In addition, there’s also five back up stories within the trade that enhance and build out the mythology of (the) Dragonfly/man’s world, which are all utterly fantastic.

I’ve only really scratched the surface with this book, because a lot of it you’ll benefit from going in as blind as you can – it’s fun, really fun, and an engrossing read that swooped below far too many radars. Go find this underrated gem at your favourite retailer now.


Unless the comics industry ceases to exist this week, Underrated will return next week.

Preview: Penultiman #4

PENULTIMAN #4

(W) Tom Peyer
(A) Alan Robinson
(C) Alan Robinson
January 13, 2021
$3.99

Early retirement torments Penultiman—but he just might have found the right motivational speaker to dig him out of his rut! (SPOILER: It’s the WRONG motivational speaker!) Meanwhile, Penultiman’s android assistant, Antepenultiman, builds an artificial sidekick of its own! Also: bonus illustrated prose stories!

PENULTIMAN #4

Review: The Wrong Earth: Night and Day #1

The Wrong Earth: Night and Day #1

The vengeance-dealing Dragonfly sticks it to the man! The acrobatic sleuth Dragonflyman assists the police! These alternate-earth versions of the same masked crimefighter meet face-to-face for the first time in this new series by the original creators of the smash-hit The Wrong Earth! Will their impossible encounter result in a team-up…or an all-out war? Find out in The Wrong Earth: Night and Day #1!

The Wrong Earth: Night And Day #1 is the follow up to AHOY‘s The Wrong Earth, but you don’t need to have read the original series (or its prequel) to enjoy the first issue of this one because the tale is positioned in a way that any who are familiar with the Batman 66 comics or TV show and the grittier modern Batman comics will understand the status quo of the comic with the simple recap page. Because it really is a simple concept, but it’s one that hooks you in rather effortlessly.

The comic is an easy read, and plays off the switch between the gritty Dragonfly and the innocuous Dragonfly Man as they inhabit the wrong world – although after a year, the characters have some familiarity with their surroundings

Writer Tom Peyer is able to write a sequel comic that’s every bit as accessible to new readers, of which I am one, than the first issue of volume one. He strikes a unique balance between telling the story and giving you a sense of who the players are without spoon feeding you the details in a way that will leave returning readers rolling their eyes as the unnecessary recaps. Peyer gives each version of Dragonfly (Man) a unique voice, playing into the dichotomy of their switched roles with a level of dry humour that sings to me.

Artistically, penciller Jamal Igle, inker Juan Castro and colourist Andy Troy deliver a solid book. It’s worth mentioning that there’s a slight slip in the art – there are two panels with the hilariously named Lady Dragonfly Man where the lines of her legs don’t seem to follow any real anatomical sense. While I did spend a few minutes trying to work out how what I was looking at made sense, I didn’t feel that it really took away from the experience of the comic on the whole because the trio give an energy to the story that makes you want to keep turning the page.

Wrong Earth: Night And Day #1 also include a couple of prose pieces that aren’t necessarily required reading, but are certainly nice additions to a comic that was already worth buying on the merits of its main story (which clocks in around 20 odd pages). Despite not needing to read the first volume of the story to enjoy the start of this volume, I’m now curious and interested enough to circle back and pick the first trade up. This is just the kind of refreshing story I needed to kick off 2021.

Story: Tom Peyer Art: Jamal Igle Inker: Juan Castro
Color: Andy Troy Letterer: Rob Steen
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

AHOY Comics provide Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Zeus Comics

Preview: The Wrong Earth: Night and Day #1

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT AND DAY #1

(W) Tom Peyer
(A) Jamal Igle / Juan Castro
(C) Jamal Igle
January 6, 2021
$3.99

The vengeance-dealing Dragonfly sticks it to the man! The acrobatic sleuth Dragonflyman assists the police! These alternate-earth versions of the same masked crimefighter meet face-to-face for the first time in this new series by the original creators of the smash-hit The Wrong Earth! Will their impossible encounter result in a team-up…or an all-out war?

Every AHOY title also features extra bonus prose stories, beautifully illustrated.

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT AND DAY #1

Preview: Penultiman #3

Penultiman #3

(W) Tom Peyer
(A) Alan Robinson
(C) Alan Robinson
December 9, 2020
$3.99

Penultiman seeks a way out of his emotional spiral by reading a self-help book about positivity, then starts acting like a jerk in public. His android understudy, Antepenultiman, ruins Penultiman’s secret identity. Plus the usual AHOY extra prose stories and illustrations!

Penultiman #3

Preview: Penultiman #2

Penultiman #2

(W) Tom Peyer
(A/C) Alan Robinson
November 11, 2020
$3.99

His confidence shattered, 2020’s most magnificent superhero seeks reassurance from a strange source: his incarcerated arch-adversary, terror-scientist Zev Zollo! PLUS: text features and short prose fiction, illustrated to the ultimate!

Penultiman #2

Review: Penultiman #1

Penultiman #1

There’s been numerous comic series that have launched that are deconstructions or explorations of the superhero. Many have gone on to be praised and considered modern classics. Some have fallen a bit flat. There’s also a point where you wonder if there’s anything new to explore. Penultiman #1 is a worthy entry in that genre taking a different angle exploring superheroes.

Written by Tom Peyer, Penultiman #1 explores a hero who has no confidence. He’s Superman who has been taken being cast out as a blow. Sent back in time from the future, he seems to be on a mission to prove himself worthy to return but taking it all a bit personal resulting in a bit of self-hatred.

Peyer gives us an interesting take on the concept. This is a hero who’s driven by a desire of approval from parents he thinks have rejected him. That lack of confidence extends to his alter-ego whose stumbling doesn’t come off as much as an attempt to protect his secret identity as it does an extension of his personal issues.

But, it feels like it wouldn’t be a comic from AHOY if it took itself too seriously. Peyer infuses the comic with a lot of humor. By the end of the issue it’s clear that this isn’t quite going to be a serious look at the superhero psyche but instead a humorous play on it all. We’ll find out more with the second issue of course.

That humorous tone is helped by the art of Alan Robinson who’s joined by Lee Loughridge on color and Rob Steen with lettering. The modern world of Penultiman is what you might expect with superheroes. It’s nice to look at and the designs are fun. But, there’s the future where things are… odd. That’s the point I realized the comic wasn’t as serious as it might be. The designs there are just weird and funny, and add a bit of quirk to the comic that helps drag it back into the world of fun and not so dour. The art “lifts” the comic in a way and adds enjoyment to the story.

As it’s an AHOY comic, the issue is packed with extras including three prose entries from Kek-W, Chris Lundy, and Philip Ellis, and art by Rob Steen, Joe Orsak, and Elliot Mattice. These are all entertaining and a bit all over in content but to me, it’s the bonus for a comic I’d buy otherwise. It “adds value” to something I’d already get and read.

Penultiman #1 is an interesting comic with what feels like a new take on the examination of the superhero. It does it as well without taking itself too seriously. The combination of something to say with some humor feels welcome in the space and where the series goes should be interesting. It’s definitely a comic to keep an eye on and might be one that gets folks buzzing.

Story: Tom Peyer, Kek-W, Chris Lundy, Philip Ellis Art: Alan Robinson, Rob Steen, Joe Orsak, Elliot Mattice
Color: Lee Loughridge Letterer: Rob Steen
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

AHOY Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyZeus Comics

Preview: Penultiman #1

PENULTIMAN #1

(W) Tom Peyer
(A) Alan Robinson
(C) A: Alan Robinson B: Jamal Igle
October 7, 2020
$3.99

Back from the future—again! Penultiman, The Next-To-Last-Stage In Human Evolution, is the greatest, best-looking, and most admired super-hero in the world! So how can he stop hating himself? His android understudy, Antepenultiman, thinks he knows the answer! Created by Tom Peyer (THE WRONG EARTH) and Alan Robinson (PLANET OF THE NERDS).

Featuring a variant cover by Jamal Igle (THE WRONG EARTH, Black). Resolicited from the Plague Times – all previous orders have been cancelled.

All AHOY books feature additional prose stores and art.

PENULTIMAN #1
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