By J. Michael Straczynski and Tom Mandrake
Flyboy’s descent into depravity continues in the new installment of Sidekick from Image this week. The coolest part of this book is seeing what Straczynski is willing to put Flyboy through as he searches to gain a hold on the dark reality that surrounds him. We’ve already seen some of the darker things that Flyboy is willing to do to regain some semblance of the life he had with Red Cowl, and Straczynski starts to show us why in the latest issue.
Temporal issues come into play in this issue. When an old girlfriend of Red Cowl’s comes to Flyboy with the theory that Red Cowl survived the shooting through some time-stream jumping, Flyboy begins looking for answers. This was one of the most humanizing moments of the issue, because Flyboy must delve into his own past with Red Cowl. Searching through his memories gives us a great look at the gravity of Flyboy’s loss. Here we have a Dick Grayson-like character, where he was taken in after the murder of his parents and basically raised by Red Cowl. This fresh murder that Flyboy has to endure is then an extension of his parents’ death, and we understand a little better why this character is slipping slowly into madness.
Mandrake continues the series’ art with darker images and gritty backdrops. The art adds to the weight of the story, pulling the reader into this world. There were some issues with facial expressions in some panels. There was one panel of just Flyboy where his face looked oddly proportioned and off kilter. This happened several times in some panels where characters faces wouldn’t really mesh well with the story, but Mandrake made up for this in the memory montage that meshed incredibly well with the plot.
Straczynski is setting up this book for some good things to come, and we can only imagine how far Flyboy will go to regain his treasured past.