By Jonathan Edwards
I wasn't originally going to write this review. Neither of the previous issues did enough to make me want to keep reading, nor did they provide much to talk about while reviewing them. I really didn't have a reason to do anything but skip this one. However, I didn't. I couldn't tell you why, but instead I decided I'd read the issue first at let that be the judge. Turns out, Mighty #3 is pretty bad. I don't know if this is the point when the creative team stopped caring or just the proof that they never cared, but it's honestly kind of amazing to me how much of this issue feels like a blatant cop-out. The characters are entirely one-dimensional, and I don't think a single thing that happened felt like anything more than outright plot convenience.
Right from the get go, we catch up with Joey and Mighty Mouse after they've spent the better part of the night attempting anything they can think of to get the latter home. Do we get to see any of it? Nope. Not even as a quick montage or visual aid while we're being told that it happened. Okay, technically that's not entirely true. We do get to see them trying to wish Mighty Mouse home. I mean, I know Joey's still a kid, and they're desperate, but really? Wishing? It perhaps would've been charming if Joey didn't think it'd work, but he still tried because he wanted to help his hero or something like that. That's not the case here, nor is it the only time they try to wish him home in this issue. Seriously, Mighty Mouse eventually even goes as far as accusing Joey as not wishing hard enough. That some small part of him wants the flying rodent to stay, and that's why it's not working. Why the fuck is this the strategy they're going to keep trying? Did I miss the part where this was actually a crossover with Justice League of America, and it's somehow normal and totally not evil that the Might Beyond the Mirror can make Faustian deals with people while they sleep? Furthermore, in that same scene, Joey states they've tried "everything but click your heels together and say 'there's no place like home.'" Mighty Mouse's response is declaring that it's not the time to joke about him having red boots. However, wasn't he supposed to not really know anything about the human world? Sure enough, later, he has to double-check if pirates were a thing. Yes, it's a small detail, but it's the closest thing to character development we have, and they somehow managed to contradict themselves with it. I don't care if it's just a throwaway joke. Even if it was funny (which it's not), that's not a good reason to go and ignore half the characterization you've given for Mighty Mouse.
The rest of the issue doesn't fare any better. For some reason, the police show up at Joey's door, asking his mom if they can talk to him, as he was caught in the background of one of the pictures that was taken when Mighty Mouse was being a superhero last issue. A few questions here: why exactly do the police want to speak with Joey? They say they're investigating an "incident," so are they considering Mighty Mouse's actions criminal? Do they think Joey is connected to Mighty Mouse? Their line of questioning certainly reads pretty accusatory. Why would they think he was connected? Because they were in a picture together? Nothing about that picture suggests he was anything other than a civilian that happened to be in the vicinity when it went down. You can't even see Mighty Mouse clearly in it. Instead, it's a red, tornado-looking blur. Yet, the officers confusingly act as if he's plainly visible in the picture, but what's more, they accept it when Joey says "oh, that's my Mighty Mouse action figure." He's not even holding on to Mighty Mouse in the picture! Why does this excuse work?!
This is probably a good time to get into the art, because the whole police sequence is one of its multiple failings things time around. I'm pretty sure that the picture the police reference was supposed to clearly depict both Joey and Mighty Mouse. But for some reason, Igor Lima just didn't draw it that way. I still question pretty much everything else about the scene, why the police specifically want to talk to Joey, and how the excuse of "action figure" would actually fool them. Although, it would've helped at least a little bit to actually see Mighty Mouse in the picture. But like I said, that's only one of the art problems on display here. The expressions get a bit wonky, epitomized by the completely deadpan look on Joey's mom's face when she's meant to be urgently yelling for him. The coloring is also really starting to bother me. The best way I can describe it is that, yes, it is rather colorful, but none of it works well together. Every location has its own palette, but so does every character, and none of it looks right when juxtaposed. The biggest problem is Joey's dumb green shirt. It's stood out to me since the first issue, but it's never felt like as much as a full on problem until now. It looks terrible against browns, and for some reason, he spends the lion's share of this issue against brownish backgrounds. And on top of that, none of the characters are ever affected by lighting as much as the backgrounds are. The couch may be bathed in the blue glow of the TV, but Joey's skin and awful shirt are not.
Before, I wasn't impressed with this book. Now, I hate it. The only slightly interesting thing that happens is the reveal that Mighty Mouse transfers his cartoon physics (or something) to whatever he interacts with. However at this point, I find it hard to really care. The characters do little more than say "well gee, would you look at that!" about it, and I'm sure it's only being introduced to justify some dumbshit plan or fakeout death later on. And above all, the ending of this one really doesn't make sense. Mighty Mouse is supposed to be from another universe, but apparently it was still created by people drawing? And, somehow that lets the interdimensional portal Joey draws come to life. Also, how the fuck is the Mighty Mouse cartoon they were watching the previous night still airing? Okay, Mighty Mouse isn't there to save the day, but in the human world, it's still a show on a channel. What the fuck is the station doing? Jerking off while taking bets on how long it'll run if they don't stop it? I ask, but surely I'll never know. But yeah, I'm going to go ahead and not recommend this. At all. Not even to Mighty Mouse fans. It's a poorly thought out and executed book that doesn't bother to give anything beyond a superficial and simplistic story, so you shouldn't bother reading it.
Mighty Mouse #3