Writer: Matt Fraction / Artist: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson / Image
It was clear to me when I started reading Adventureman #1 that I was going to love this series, but if you’ll indulge me for just a moment as I get the following out the system: this $#!% was made for me. This is my favorite type of story. This is my favorite type of medium to tell this story. This is all the best pulpy parts of science fiction and superheroes from yesteryear that I instinctively grabbed an orange juice out of my fridge when writing this review because that’s how the mind works some days.
But you really can’t blame me. Adventureman #2 is essentially two heavily interconnected stories rolled into one and, on the merits of each alone, are enough to engage with. The pulp styling of in-universe unpublished story from the “Adventureman” series brought to life with the Dodsons’ delightfully retro stylings and Fraction’s ridiculously campy dialog draws you and will immediately bring you back to childhood days of your own favorite young adult serials. And then the narratively naturally ties into the lives of Claire and Tommy Connell, whose world seems to be slowly expanding with the introduction of this weird book that leads to even weirder events happening in their city.
If Adventureman #1 built the foundation for a launch pad, Adventureman #2 built and fired a rocket. The world gets fully realized at a rapid rate over the issue in such a playful way. There are dozens of Easter eggs and background jokes, all in service of fleshing out two worlds simultaneously. The mystery behind “Adventureman” is utterly engrossing, but Claire Connell’s character is also such an endearing leading lady and meshes very nicely with the pantheon of iconic characters Matt Fraction has helped create. There is a sense of rediscovery and joy that just can’t be overstated and escapist in a very fulfilling way.
The Adventureman team has successfully made me fall in love with a fictional family and a fictional character that two of those family members are fans of. This is distilled escapist speculative fiction at its fines and more than worthwhile to read this summer.
9.5 “Crazy Days” out of 10
Reading Adventureman? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.