Review: Edison Rex, Vol. 2
Edison Rex continues his efforts to transition from super villain to super hero, in his quest to be the self-appointed defender of Earth. However, the other heroes are not convinced about Rex’s change of heart and the other villains are less than pleased with his new career.
The second volume of Monkeybrain Comics’ hit series about a villain turned hero hits this week thanks to IDW. Edison Rex, Vol. 2 contains issues #7-12 as well as all the bonus material. The story was created by Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver with Roberson handling the scrip and Culver providing the art. Stephen Downer handles colors, John J. Hill provides letters, and Allison Baker serves as the series editor. Volume 1 scored big when it was released, so how does the second collection fare?
Edison Rex is still trying to prove to the world that he is a hero. He started to gain a little ground after defeating some alternate dimension copies of himself who were out to help Edison rule the world or destroy it for his lack of commitment to the interdimensional group, but he’s still trying to make real headway. As he and his newly formed group try to start doing some real good in the world, the next generation of heroes, as well as Edison’s former villainous cohorts, have some serious questions about the genius’s commitment. Will Edison be able to prove he’s a hero? Will the fact he helped destroy Valiant ever be discovered? Can a former villain even really be a hero?
Roberson does an outstanding job of mining the golden and modern ages of comics and pulling out tropes and other beloved character and story types to present them in a new and exciting way. You can tell that everyone involved just loves comics no matter the era, and while there is some parodying, everything is done in love and the service of a fresh story. It’s really astounding the world building that Roberson presents in the span of six issues. We get a rich and detailed look at the past heroes, the younger “sidekick” era who are now taking the older heroes places, and even the pantheon of villains in this world. Culver’s art is top notch. There’s an old school comic book feel and pop-iness to it that just makes for exciting pages. There’s a slight cartoon vibe to things, but this is a big and expansive comic book world. The character design is just as impressive as the fantastical creatures that inhabit this space. Downer’s colors add some liveliness to it with the bright and vivid pallet that just really makes things feel fun. The flashback comics included in the series have a beautiful yellowing of the pages to them as well.
Bottom Line: Edison Rex is a series that you really should be reading. You don’t need an encyclopedic knowledge of comic book history to enjoy it, but if you’re a longtime comic reader or someone with a decent working knowledge you will probably have a lot more fun. 5/5
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