Rachel Bellwoar reviews Fresh Off the Boat FCBD 2017…
On this week’s episode of Fresh Off the Boat (“Pie vs. Cake”), Eddie and Emery created a comic that Stan Lee adored in a cameo appearance. This Saturday, on Free Comic Book Day, that comic becomes a reality with Boom Studios!’ Fresh Off the Boat Presents “Legion of Dope-itude” Featuring Lazy Boy.
Where the comic on the show featured The Persuader and Blazer Boy, thinly veiled personas for their mom, Jessica, and youngest brother, Evan, “Legion of Dope-itude” puts the entire Huang family on the trail of bad tippers in the city of Orlando.
Sometimes seen looking uncomfortable in costume (her gritted teeth weaken their first, big entrance), Jessica is a tougher sell for taking up the superhero mantle. On the show, she calls comic books “finished coloring books,” and the unlikeliness of her saying “It’s dope-itude time” needs the proper motivation. Stopping a customer from passing off an expired coupon qualifies, but then letting it go that they smashed a hole through the side of their restaurant, Cattleman’s, doesn’t. It’s nice to see her come into her powers more slowly.
Her husband, Louis, is having the time of his life. The debut of his superhero, Cattleman, is definitely worth the wait. All of the character designs by artist, Jorge Corona, and Caleb Meurer are reflective of the characters’ personalities (who wouldn’t want Eddie’s Notorious R.E.M.O.T.E.?) but there’s something about Louis’ cowboy outfit, following the theme of his Western restaurant, that they get completely right. Maybe it’s the huge smile on his face, or the obviousness of his dialogue by writer, Gene Luen Yang, making him certain to spill his secret identity. Louis has a blast and was made for comics.
From his insistence on “Featuring Lazy Boy” in the title, Eddie would appear to have his finger on the plot, but it gets better knowing Emery’s probably responsible. There’s a reason his superhero name is Nice Man, and, in his quest for authenticity, Emery would do all the work while Eddie gets the glory. That glory isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Eddie grows weary of being a superhero, and the way the comic addresses that is valuable.
There’s a real heart to this issue. The art, including Jim Campbell’s lettering and Jeremy Lawson’s colors, is contagiously upbeat, and other than a gripe at Grandma being called Octogenarian (we just went through an episode, “The Gloves Are Off,” clearing up her age), Jessica playing favorites, and Evan’s Crest of Cuteness not being explained, this couldn’t be a better entrance of the show into comics. Fans will appreciate the care that went into adapting these characters, and new readers will get to meet a great family who could’ve been superheroes first.
FCBD Fresh Off the Boat is available in comic book shops on May 6 for free.