Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: Ulises Farinas
Colors: Melody Often
Lettering: Rus Wooton
Cover: Ulises Farinas
Publisher: Image Comics
The first coolest thing about New Lieutenants of Metal is that it includes a playlist! The second coolest thing is that the Metal Jet sports chicken legs, ala Baba Yaga’s hut. The third coolest thing is…oh heck, I’ll just list them: a disgruntled werewolf, a panda named Spike, abs that look like two fists put together, a tripped out, jacked up Cyborg parody, evil, giant monster truck transformers, sawblade gliders, teeth galore, and not one, but two double page spreads to remind us what we’re reading! All that and a bag of boy band chips. The Spike files at the end were great, but only showcased two of the characters. Perhaps the others can be seen in subsequent issues.
From first glance, you can probably tell what you’re getting into with this book. It looks like a Cartoon Network show in 2D, and that’s basically what it is (though better by far than many of the shows that have aired on that channel). New Lieutenants has a simple story, but amusing dialogue, vibrant, animated art, and plucky heroes that you just want to grab and squeeze until they squeal: they’re just all so lovable. The panels have great variation, from sparsely decorated to loaded with background and foreground detail. The text is colorful and filled with enthusiasm (unless it’s Steppenwulf’s dialogue) and the narration is actually helpful (unlike a lot of wasted narration in some comics). The mystery of the missing team member seems a tiny bit like a way to have a continuous story, but I would like to see what wacky adventures are coming up next. After all of the deeper, darker books I’ve been reading lately, New Lieutenants of Metal was a welcome break.
With it’s Mucha Lucha style, comedy-drama antics, and over-the-top language, the New Lieutenants of Metal is sure to be a big hit. It’s a fun, fiery romp with spoofy characters guaranteed to make you grin and guffaw. Check it out if you want something silly and new and sprinkled with music references.