David Opie reviews Minions Volume 2: Evil Panic…
While the diabolical villain Gru is busy taking over the world, his bumbling Minions have a few adventures of their own, fending off the evil Minions as they go about their work.
When Universal Pictures first announced that they were developing a Despicable Me spin-off starring Gru’s lovable Minions, my initial reaction was one of cynicism. There was no need to tell the story of these lovable, but essentially two-dimensional characters and the entire project reeked of a thinly veiled opportunity to make more money.
Fast forward to the summer of 2015 and Minions ending up grossing a phenomenal $1.1 billion worldwide, surpassing both the original Despicable Me movies to become the 10th highest grossing film of all time. Unsurprisingly, the Minions merchandise hit shelves hard and fast, aimed squarely at the millions of children who couldn’t get enough of the cheeky misfits.
While toys and games inevitably became a huge part of the films marketing process, one of the best tie-in products was a collection of comic strips called Minions Vol 1: Banana. Now Christmas is just around the corner, Gru’s maniacal sidekicks are back with a new collection of stories titled Minions Vol 2: Evil Panic.
Each strip focuses on the mad hijinks of the Minions, following them as they squabble or make silly decisions in a variety of ridiculous costumes. Gru is noticeably absent for the most part, only appearing briefly in the first story, which also acts as a cute origin for the mischievous ‘evil’ Minions. The presence of the evil Minions ties the disparate stories together, following the mayhem they cause as they do everything from test evil weapons to sell banana smoothies.
For a comic aimed at children, Evil Panic is surprisingly well illustrated. Artist Renaud Collin returns once again to illustrate each strip with a clean style that remains instantly recognisable to fans of the movie, yet holds a unique identity of its own. Renaud uses a mixture of bold colours and fine lines to tell each story concisely within the limited framework he’s given.
Stephane Lapuss’ minimal dialogue and reliance on visual storytelling means that Evil Panic is extremely accessible for fans of any age, regardless of their reading ability. The short, simple strips make it easy for children to dip in and out of the book as often as they like, making Evil Panic a worthwhile gift for Minions fans at Christmas.
No matter how old you are, it’s hard to resist the lovable stupidity of the Minions and even adults may find themselves laughing on occasion as they glance through each strip. If you’re looking for a gift that captures the spirit of the movies in a bite size format, then Minions Vol 2: Evil Panic is the trade paperback for you.
Minions Vol 2: Evil Panic is available from online retailers now. For more information, visit the official site www.titan-comics.com.