Do you know what the most coveted super power in comic books is? It’s not the power of suggestion, the ability to read minds or even being able to transport people to strange and alien realms. It’s staying power. What really sucks, then, is when you pick up a book you think will have staying power, but instead - as has happened so many times before - trails off before it gets going. Such is the case with EGOs ... and that really bums me out. I picked up Image’s space team adventure book EGOs on a whim, and was pleasantly surprised by its familiar, yet fun first issue, inhabited by a few intriguing characters and twisted by a turn of events that forced a further differentiation from its predecessors with similar premises. I was also pumped to be getting in on the ground floor with new artist, Gus Storms, who showed a lot of promise in his first, colorful foray into funny books. But very quickly, that all quickly paled, and by its third issue, I’ve almost completely lost interest.
The plot this issue follows the rag tag leftovers of the EGOs V.2 team (who were all but massacred last time) and a few random folks who presumably made the cut for the simultaneous EGOs membership drive, although we were never shown this final cut, and if these two were chosen, it must have been from a pretty shitty pool. Together, they make their last stand against Masse: The Living Galaxy, who means to destroy and eat a star system made up of five densely-populated worlds.
On top of that conflict is one which sees this motley crew torn apart by infighting between its husband and wife captains, Deuce and Miri, who are at a loggerheads over the ethical ambiguity of Deuce’s plan to clone the shit out of himself and use the results as fodder in his war against galactic anarchy. As I write this, I realize that all sounds pretty great on paper, and it does ... until it’s actually “on paper.”
There are a lot of problems with this issue, not least of which is a character named Pigmentia, who I want to get out of the way first. This is an ostensibly cosmic comic, but here you have a character who shoots paintballs from wrist launchers. Regardless of the overly-convenient way her powers manifest this time, I just can’t get past that concept; a weak link in an otherwise strong chain of powers.
In all, however, the character development throughout this cast - especially Deuce and Miri, who fight like petulant children - felt too chaotic and wildly thrown together, before then being way too quickly wrapped-up and smoothed over. The same thing is true for the whole threat of this story in general. I know this is comics, but they smoked that living galaxy in three issues; two, technically, since he appeared at the end of the first one. That makes the defeat of a character called “The Living Galaxy” depressingly underwhelming.
On top of that, there are quite a few gaping plot holes here, or at very least ones whose formations have gone off the rails for me. Take the first villain to show up in the series - Top Quark - or his brother, Strange Quark, who showed up vowing revenge last time. They didn’t show up this issue and now officially feel like an afterthought, even though the former killed one of the original EGOs and basically got this whole thing started.
Then there’s the narrator, who is also [SPOILER] the alleged son of Deuce and Miri, and was oddly skipped last issue. His presence here is so meaningless, you wonder why he’s even in this story other than levity. The dude likes taking drugs and bitching about his parents, we get it - but does he have to do that, and only that (when he bothers to show up) across three whole issues, without any further development?
Like the story, the art from Storms, which I so enjoyed in the first and second issues, felt rushed and significantly sloppier in EGOs #3. Since he’s new to the game, some of that is to be expected and even forgiven, but it’s still disheartening when someone who shows such great potential slips like this. I honestly do like his stuff, though, and hope he can bounce back to form soon.
EGOs has slid steadily in my reviews from a 4/5 to a 2/5. Now, you might think I’m done with this book, but you’d be wrong. I’m sticking with it for at least one more issue, because I honestly have faith in Stuart Moore and Gus Storms, and believe that they are capable of great things as a team. I’m hoping they can find that spark of staying power and whip it into the flame I expected after issue one, rather than just being extinguished in the vacuum it’s quickly becoming.
Writer: Stuart Moore Artist: Gus Storms Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 3/12/14