The first issue of “The Intrepids” set up the parameters of this world. It was retro-spy, like someone merged “Mission: Impossible” with old lad mag mystery solving do-gooders and stirred in a helping of danger. It made for a fun comic that delighted with plot and art. This issue brings a bit more heart to the tale and depth to the characters.
The initial scene sees the team taking tea with Darius Dread after his battle baboons get the jump on them far too easily. Dread isn’t the terror they had supposed, and they receive information from him to move the plot forward. This step in the plot can be forgiven because Dread is such a delightful blend between Orson Welles and Marlon Brando. He’s also just a man trying to find some happiness late in his life.
Crystal Crow is a sad individual. She might be a busty superspy but she’s also without a family. She thought Dante was going to be the new home she needed, but once he diluted his attention with the rest of the team Crow became disillusioned and severely disappointed. She only wants to have one important person in her life and be the only important person in their worldview. This might be selfish but it’s also meted out by a very childish perspective. You must remember these are just teens playing at an adult game. Having such a personal sub-plot next to the big action mystery is working well to temper these pages out.
The group are sent to meet Jonah, a shadowy figure full of ill intent and creepy glances. This guy looks like the usual number two henchman of the big villains of these pieces so we instantly know the team are moving up the trail. The phone conversation they have with him yields a very hilarious line but also shows you one character in a very true light. It’s a laugh-out-loud moment.
Scott Kowalchuk’s art is a superb slice of how we view the past. Old art didn’t actually look like this; it was rarely so good. He creates pages, with tone, that reflect the scenes beautifully and enhance the character moments. He also manages to squeeze in an expositional double splash page that is so intriguing you won’t mind that it’s mostly character information.
Kurtis Wiebe is crafting a comic that feels like a Sunday serial. This isn’t the “Umbrella Academy,” because it could never take itself so seriously. This owes more to the newspaper strips with its gags and slowly projecting storylines. Overall, it makes this comic feel different to most other titles and it gives it an air of the past. “The Intrepids” is like The Goonies’ grandparents. It’s wacky fun, and yet you can’t underestimate the danger, or miss the good times. This is the sort of comic children should be reading because it’s not aimed at children, but it’ll get them completely.