Last year, I reviewed Issue #1 of Fro Man and Dubstep Boy, written by 15-year-old David Crosby; you can find the review HERE. Issue #2, “Tour Trouble” was released in October; I just purchased a digital copy today. Let’s see where this takes us!
We start with a brief recap of Issue #1, and an answer to one of the questions from that issue: Alex Monroe – “Fro Man” – landed in the year 2037.
We begin the “present-day” story at Rhine Cliffe Apartments, where Alex and Solomon have a place, after Solomon maybe, possibly, probably, accidentally sneezed his family to death (Question #2 mostly answered). Alex is working on using his hair-based powers; Solomon is struggling with sleeplessness, due to his invisible companion, Nitro. Both are getting ready to attend a super hero academy, run by the guy that saved him in the last issue, General Manager.
The big day arrives, and the duo rushes off to board the bus sent for them. The driver seems normal – even warns them to buckle up – but there are some… ‘strange’ characters on the bus: a Cyclops, a girl dressed like a pink Flash, and a completely black-and-white boy, just to name 3. Solomon hopes for a ‘normal’ ride; he does not get a normal bus ride…
… since the bus sprouts wings and flies off, leaving Solomon dazed and Alex, well Alex learned a valuable lesson about no seat belts:
I legit laughed out loud at this panel!
On the bus, Solomon meets Megan, “Electragirl”, but his meeting is made very awkward by the suddenly interested Nitro. Nitro, to the concern of Solomon (who can see and hear him) and Megan (who can’t do either) explains his situation:
Nitro is an alien that crash-landed on Earth.
He plans on using Solomon’s body until it dies, when he will eject it into space. This will free Nitro to live his own life again.
Solomon is not doing too well.
The duo survive the bus ride and arrive at the Academy, despite the feeling that they’ve seen the bus driver somewhere before….
GM introduces them to “his life’s work of 16 years”: the General Manager Technical College”.
“Dave’s World of Comics”, for short. After a full page of not-hidden pop culture references about secret lairs, GM gives them a tour of the place, lead by the Tour Guides:
The “Comic Store” is actually a false front for a pretty advance housing, training, and research center, as the duo learns on their tour. Alex runs into a guy in the comic store that suspiciously looks like that grinning bus driver. Weird…
… but not as weird as the rows of Time Machines on the wall of one of the buildings. Or the machine that looks like an over-the-head hair dryer that analyzes Alex. While Alex recovers, Solomon gets analyzed. before the machine can warn him about Nitro, he sneezes and blows the machine up. As they continue on the tour, Alex plans on asking GM how he got to 2037: who put him in that block of ice? Solomon’s question is a little more somber: he wants to know if GM can reproduce the sneezing accident that might have killed his family. Plus he wants an increasingly-destructive Nitro brought under control.
Bravelength brings the duo to Manatee Stadium, the outdoor training complex, and introduces them to some of the staff. One of the staff members is Chuck Chambers:
Another is a talking Manatee, “Manatee Man”, who panics Nitro enough to send Solomon sneezing his way out of the stadium, into the Medical Center (conveniently).
Doc isn’t entirely enthused by Solomon’s crash-landing but proceeds to show his superpowers: he can heal anyone and he can heal, via his pet snake, Vaccine, from nearly any injury, from broken ribs (via a punch from Fro Man) to all broken bones (via punch from Nitro/Solomon that knocks him out of his office window). He also has “Visual Empathy”: he sees that Solomon is still grieving and asks Alex to talk to him, as Solomon storms off in exasperation.
GM meets the students at the Center Center (“The Center”), where they will pick up their schedules… after they ask GM that One Question. Alex puzzles with what he’s going to ask AND how to talk to Solomon, when Solomon’s turn comes up. He passes for later (GM sends Warp to distract Solomon), while Alex asks to talk to GM in private. Before he can ask his question, GM essentially asks and answers it for him: ‘Make Solomon feel better by talking to him. He won’t be distracted forever.’
Alex finally gathers the nerve to talk to Solomon:
Nitro wasn’t initially impressed with the moment but comes up with an idea: he wants him to ask GM to scan him for a parasite. While Solomon is being scanned, a trash collector comes through… one that looks like the bus driver…
Suddenly, Alex puts 2 and 2 together, realizing why this guy looks so familiar:
He was the guy the Alex first met, after he woke up from the initial fall into the toxic vat in Issue #1. He was the one that locked Alex in ice for 50 years! Before he rushes off to confront the guy, GM holds him back. He warns that Solomon might be in serious danger…!
Meanwhile, we go to the Women’s Correctional Center, an inmate is riling up al but one of the inmates.
Ruth. The main villain from Issue #1.
She’s boasting about her new prosthetic hands and how she’ll use them to get revenge on Alex, until a guard stops her, takes the hands “via a new law”, and puts them in storage. Ruth doesn’t seem worried.
The last few panels show why. In an underground base, a mohawked guy looks like he’s helping Ruth plan a jailbreak. He talks to someone in a welder’s mask. They reveal their identity:
LUCY WESCOTT, Solomon’s sister!
Issue #2 improves on #1. The overall story of Fro Man and Dubstep Boy is expanded, even though you don’t see their powers used much. Interesting side characters and side-stories are, while Alex’s story (how did he get to the 2030s and how can he control his powers) and Solomon’s main story (what happened to his family and why are his powers getting more out-of-control) get fleshed out a little bit. The twists at the end end leave you wanting to see what Issue #3 brings.
Similar to what I said for the first issue: this was a pretty good book, especially for a new, young writer! There’s humor, there’s emotional moments, and it’s not loaded down with dialog. I was pretty entertained!