By Jonathan Edwards
I was not impressed by the first issue of Mighty Mouse. It was an entirely by-the-book endeavor that failed to justify a version of 2017 where a grade-schooler loves Mighty Mouse almost as much as it failed to justify a new Mighty Mouse comic in our version of 2017. I still gave it a decent rating. Because, I could still see someone reading and enjoying it for some quick and cheap fun. All that being said, I did find one way this book could redeem itself, and that is the explanation of how the hell Mighty Mouse was transported between worlds. Unfortunately, we don't get that in this issue either, but we do get a couple other interesting ideas, or at least executions, instead.
For starters, it's certainly nothing new to have a character like Mighty Mouse existing in the human world but still operating off of their own distinct "cartoon physics." What I like about how it's done here is that MM himself doesn't even consider it at first. As far as he knows, his physics are just physics, and Joey has to intervene to prevent him from super punching a purse snatcher's head right off. Furthermore, he can hardly wrap his head around the idea of various cartoon antics being enough to kill in the human world. It's actually pretty refreshing, given that cartoony character are most commonly portrayed as fairly self-aware of their slapstick indestructibility and that it does come from their being a cartoon.
The other big thing that works pretty well is the idea that with Mighty Mouse being in the human world, his show now continues with no one to save the citizens of Mouseville. It goes on to suggest that Mighty Mouse is actually part of a looping timeline that resets with each successive rerun of his episodes. I honestly really dig that idea, and I'm r hoping they actually do something more with it (even though I kind of doubt they will). However, there are a couple problems here too. First, they only discover that the cartoons are continuing without Mighty Mouse because they stop to watch the televisions in a store's display window. And I have to ask, what store nowadays would be playing Mighty Mouse from a vintage cartoon specialty channel? I mean, we've done nothing to establish that anyone but Joey cares about the character. I know it's minor, but it smacks of plot convenience. Plus, it actually does lead to a bigger plot hole too. If all of these TVs were also tuned to the same channel that Joey was watching, then how come Mighty Mouse ended up coming out of Joey's TV? It would be fine if the reasoning were that, as a Mighty Mouse super fan, he was the only tuned in at the moment, but he wasn't. So, if it wasn't plot convenience before, it definitely is now.
I feel like I liked the art a little bit better this time around. Yeah, Mighty Mouse is a completely different art style than just about everything else in this issue, and neither style is amazing, but they manage to work out alright when put together. I still think the colors could use a little work. The purse snatcher is a redhead in a green shirt with a purple jacket, and it weirdly ends up feeling like their intentionally going for a Joker color palette with him but for no discernible reason.
At the end of the day, this book still isn't really bad, but I still can't recommend it either. The interesting moments are too few and far between, and honestly, there are so many books out there that are just better than this in every way. With that in mind, I doubt I'll be coming back for issue #3. But hey, if you read and really liked issue #1, then go ahead and check this one out. Maybe you'll find something else in it that I didn't.
Mighty Mouse #2