Super Secret Crisis War: The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
by Kate Leth and Troy Little
It’s summer! Naturally, in the comic book world that means there must be big events and massive crossovers. Just as the movie industry sets out to deliver the biggest event films of the year, the comics industry deliver to readers their large scale events. IDW kicked off their major event this summer with Super Secret Crisis War, which saw a number of the big characters including Ben 10 and the Power Puff Girls being captured as Aku set out to take over the world. In addition to the main series, there are a number of one-shots tying into the event. Here, Kate Leth and Troy Little team up to tell a very fun story with Billy and Mandy and Grim where two robots accidentally get sent to their town and happen to fuse together along the way.
As the issue opens, the two robots fall onto a teleportation platform. When they arrive in town, the two have become one. Troy Little uses the individual Heads Up Displays of each bot to add a great bit of comedy, depicting what each would see and how it processes this strange situation. Billy acts as a great foil and he has decided at this strange robot will be his new best friend. Kate Leth’s ability to move the issue forward while giving space to let readers unfamiliar with the property get to understand the different personalities they are meeting. Mandy is pretty sure that nothing good can come of this and she quickly calls upon Grim to help them get rid of this two-headed threat. All the while, the robots continue to blurt out odd and disconnected phrases, with one dedicated to finding a worth challenger while the other is just shouting at random.
From the start of the issue it is teased that Grim knows a guy who handles situations like this, though he is tied up. The way he continues to redefine the guy and his abilities, the more readers will a start to wonder just who this guy is and what he really can do. Leth has a great handle on the he timing and approach to conveying comedy on the page. The way that the deadly robot plays against Billy’s desire to have a new friend works very well. While no one but Billy sees the robot as anything but potential danger, they too take to calling it by the name that Billy assigns.
Little is a solid choice for art and especially so when looking for a good complement to the tone that Leth carries in her writing. For Leth’s comedy to really land, as a lot of it is physical or visual comedy, the panel work and physicality of the characters needs to really connect. Fortunately, Little is more than capable of that delivery and with his color palette the issue is a ton of fun.
For readers who have not been following along with this story, the issue really does stand well on its own as a singular story. In a short amount of space, Leth and Little are able to introduce readers to a predicting story, a cast of characters and the stand-alone plot and it all lands. For fans of the issue, or the included properties, this is a great introduction to the larger universe at work as well as some solid talent to follow.