Review: ‘Captain Ultimate’ #4

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A charming ode to Halloween and all things spooky, “Captain Ultimate” #4 is a hilariously fun superhero tale that mixes scares and laughs. Get ready for lots of entertaining action and adventure with the “Captain Ultimate” series. There’s a lot to enjoy in a comic book that has costumed freaks, tricked-out cars, and a psycho punk band.

WRITTEN BY: Benjamin Bailey & Joey Esposito
ART BY: Boykoesh
PUBLISHER: MonkeyBrains Comics
PRICE: $0.99
RELEASE: October 30, 2013

Captain Ultimate is babysitting his number one fan, Milo, while his parents are off to their own adult Halloween parties. While Milo is going around, knocking on every door in sight, something else is wandering the streets on Halloween night. A punk band, The Pumpkills, is driving around in their hot rod, causing tons of trouble to the kids. The Pumpkills are really looking for a fight and they’ve got one with Captain Ultimate. The only problem is, Captain Ultimate has to keep himself in disguise during the battle of the bands.

Writers Benjamin Bailey and Joey Esposito develop more of the hero/sidekick relationship between Milo and Captain Ultimate. When the Pumpkills arrive, that’s when Milo jumps into the spotlight. Because he wants to be a hero himself, Milo acts with confidence while being put under pressure. Being a parental figure, Captain Ultimate knows exactly when to step in, without overshadowing Milo. Bailey and Esposito want to show how Milo can defend himself, without getting in over his head.

What’s interesting about the writing from Bailey and Esposito is how they bring back previous characters into the fold. There are a few returning characters that were introduced in the first installment. Continuing with its anti-bullying theme, it turns out Captain Ultimate is protecting the child of one of his hated enemies. Bailey and Esposito are slowly building the mythology with the people Captain Ultimate meets.

I really enjoyed the character designs for the punk band, The Pumpkills, from artist Boy “Boykoesh” Akkerman. The drummer’s entire head is a carved jack o’ lantern. The drummer is always smiling, as if he only has one facial expression. The guitarist has a tattoo right across her knuckles, which spells out, “Rock.” I thought it was really hilarious that these rock stars are getting drunk on root beer backstage.

My favorite of Akkerman’s illustrations is the splash page where Milo, Captain Ultimate, and Mutt are all going trick r’ treating. With a lot of references to popular culture, see if you can spot them all. The children are dressed up as Wonder Woman, Doctor Who, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Ed Ryzowski pays around with color of their body tones, so that the eye can spot the trio as they cover the entire block in one shot.

“Captain Ultimate” #4 is such an enjoyable read with a real message at its heart. Halloween is a fun time to dress up and eat candy, but it’s not cool to act like a bully in front of others. This is not a bad way for kids to be introduced to comics.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis