Marc Sumerak and Chris Eliopoulos have been working on the Franklin Richards (and H.E.R.B.I.E.) series for awhile, and here is the latest installment, and it continues to be a fun comic book.
The series of short stories follows the misadventures of Franklin Richards and his robotic guardian, H.E.R.B.I.E.
The clear inspiration for the series is a Calvin and Hobbes, and Eliopoulos has mastered the Watterson-esque art style, while Sumerak gives the characters each a clear and interesting voice.
This issue has six stories, four new ones and two reprints (one from Marvel Previews and one from Free Comic Book Day).
The first story, "Field of Screams", involves Franklin trying to use one of his father's inventions to make himself the hero of his Little League team. What I like about the story the most is how Franklin's motivations are so rotten, but how, deep in his heart, he's a good kid and tries to do right by others, but still hoping he can cheat his way to personal gain.
That dichotomy is so true, and it's rare to actually see.
"Squid Kid!" is a pretty "by the books" adventure with Franklin actually learning some facts (and through Franklin, so do the readers).
"Freaky Franklin Friday!" has a good premise (H.E.R.B.I.E. and Franklin trade personalities) and they get the most out of it. And, once again, Franklin, while being still a good kid, finds a way to be devlish, as well.
"Bouncing Baby Boy!" was my second-favorite (the baseball one was my favorite), because it was just flatout, wacky fun. Here, Franklin basically just uses an invention of his Dad's for just total fun. And it is great. However, while that was great, I especially liked how well Eliopoulos handled the scene where Franklin is falling. It was so real!
The last two stories are the reprints, but "Comic Book Free-For-All!" is still a good tale of how much fun reading can be (and how dangerous!) and "H.E.R.B.I.E.'s Day Off" is a nice exploration of H.E.R.B.I.E.'s personality.
So very nice, Watterson-esque art, and fun, entertaining stories?
That is quite a summer spectacular!
Recommended without reservation.