Way back long ago in a Manhattan office building not so far away, I finagled an internship with DC Comics. There were a half-dozen or so of us, but the only one I remember is Josh Elder, because he was the only other guy in the program who wanted to write comics as badly as I did. The other interns loved comics, sure, but Josh and I–this is what we were going to do.
The internship ended, we wrote a goofy article about it full of advice you should completely ignore, and never lost touch. When Josh visited NYC, he’d often be found on my couch, and likewise when I traveled to Chicago. He promised me he’d write Superman one day, and when he entered a Tokyopop contest with a pitch called Mail Order Ninja, he (rightfully) never doubted it would succeed and lead to bigger things.
Too-long; didn’t-read-version: Josh Elder is a friend of mine. All of which is background so that when DC sent us a copy of Scribblenauts Unmasked #1, you should know my genuine reaction was “Hey, this is funny. Terrific, even! The in-jokes are funny, not merely recognizable nods, and whoever wrote this was plainly having fun! Who DID write it…?” I checked the front cover.
“Oh, it’s Josh. That figures.”
So when I tell you Scribblenauts Unmasked is lots and lots of fun to read, and the too-rare example of an all-ages book, you now know I’m not promoting my friend’s work; I’m giving you my honest reaction. This comic is plainly having as much fun leaping all over the DC Universe as the video game based on it was. And just as that game is astonishingly completist, so is this title. Go ahead and count all the Elseworlds and Golden Age Batmen below. I’ll wait. See how many obscure characters pop up in very fitting, funny ways.
Back? Well then you’re a stronger man than I, because I couldn’t graze the preview below without reading it in full. Adam Archer’s art crams a ton of expression into a cup of minimalism, staying true to the game’s art designs. All in all, DC should be proud of what they have here.
But Josh? Don’t get a big head. You’ll look like a Scribblenaut character.
Brendan recently interviewed Jon Goldwater, CEO of Archie Comics about the company’s big moves of late.