Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Inspector Gadget #1 (2011 Free Comic Book Day)

   Inspector Gadget (2011) #One-Shot

 Inspector Gadget, his niece Penny, and their dog Brain are on the case! This time, they are to travel on the famed Orient Express in order to save a reclusive professor from the clutches of Doctor KLAW and his evil men. Of course, Gadget gets himself nearly killed (a lot) and he thinks that Brain in disguise is really the bad guy (often)- oh, and did I forget to mention the exploding message from the chief??? 

    This book had all of the makings of a classic Inspector Gadget episode and I hated it. Don't get me wrong, when I was in kindergarten, I was all over Inspector Gadget. I had the books, the action figures, the giant-sized Gadget. Yet, for some reason the stilted animation, the repetitive plot devices, and the fact that Gadget is really a robot or android at best has over the years turned me off to this franchise.

   Another thing about Gadget is that I am convinced that Penny was really the super secret agent and that Brain and Gadget were a ruse to throw KLAW off of Penny's scent. Sure, Penny got caught sometimes, but I think KLAW believed she was nothing more than a nuisance girl- mere bait to ensnare his Inspector foe. Oddly enough, there're quite a few fans on the net who agree with my conspiracy theory about Inspector Gadget. Maybe I'm on to something...

   Also, in this Free Comic Book Day offering from 2011 is a preview of a title called Johnny Test. It was a forgettable little tale about an average school boy whose completion of his homework will one day save the world. The art looked like it was drawn on a Commodore 64 and the plot seemed to borrow heavily from Dexter's Lab, Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius, and Phineas and Ferb.

   The biggest thing that upset me about this comic book was that both stories end with a cliffhanger that requires the reader to go out and buy another title to get the ending. I can understand why DC and Marvel do it as these Free Comic Book Day offerings lead to a monthly title. But for kids, who may live in families with tight budgets, having a free book require you to purchase the ending, might be a goal unattainable. Yes, I know companies want to attract new customers but a cliffhanger just doesn't seem the smart way to do it.

   Rating 4 out of 10 stars.

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