Beyond the Fringe Comics – #4A
Hi guys! I’m Rory, the latest addition to The Fringe Podcast’s blogging lineup. I’m going to post a lot of stuff about the Fringe comics, which I have personally found very enjoyable as an extension of the stories we all enjoy on #FringeFridays. I’ll also be posting some more general blogs so those of you who have no interest in comic books will still read my stuff Anyway, here goes:
Fringe Comic Review – Beyond The Fringe #4A
Writer: Adam Gaines
Artist: Mike S. Miller
Colourist: Randy Mayor
When I first heard about the Beyond The Fringe comics series I was excited by the prospect of 14 more Fringe comics, with the “A” stories being canon, and the “B” stories being “What If?” stories, fun hypothetical scenarios with our favourite Fringe characters. Oddly, here we find that even the “A” comics have gone down the “What If?” line, but I calmed my rage when I heard the title:
Imagine If… Peter was a Superhero
OK, I’m a Fringe fan and I’m also a comic book fan. This is gonna be good. Story-wise, we learn early Peter’s superhero name is The Pattern, an obvious Fringe Season 1 tie-in and not the worst name either. The Pattern operates in “Boston City”, where soft spots have created several threats he must battle. Immediately we see the P-shaped bat-signal (Patt-signal?) shining on the cloudy skyline, and we see that this is a comic book that is going to riff off the idea of Peter being a Fringey Batman (awesome!).
Billionaire playboy Peter Bishop and his faithful butler Alfred Walter discuss the odds of a Spandex-free night as Peter prepares to answer the call. Swooping down from the rooftops like a kind of bat… man, The Pattern first puts a stop to an attempt by Newton to rob a bank with mind control powers. The soft spot area is sealed with Amber and the Pattern is next seen talking to Commissioner Broyles who informs Peter that Mr KFT has escaped St. Claire’s Asylum. Mid conversation, The Pattern sets off, leaving the commissioner talking to himself in true Batman style.
Mr ZFT, with a Z-shaped scar cut into his face has kidnapped an aide from the asylum by the name of Olivia when he was escaping. ZFT uses The Pattern’s concern for humanity against him by hurling Olivia off a dock and ZFT’s goons attack and restrain Pattern while he’s lunging to save her. The Pattern could get out of this pickle if only he had his utility belt, but it’s been removed. Olivia uses her powers of telekinesis to send it Peter’s way and a few pages and a shot of cortexiphan later, The Pattern has saved the day once again. Back at Wayne Bishop Manor, Walter, Peter and Olivia discuss the problems facing Boston City and decide that Olivia should become The Pattern’s new partner in fighting crime. The comic ends with a nice splash page where we see The Pattern and Olivia in full costume waiting for their next adventure.
Walter and his Red Vines…
As a Fringe tie-in, this has some neat moments, and many of the show’s great characters in fun new roles, but ultimately is just that, a bit of fun. We see Walter eating a Red Vine, several fresh takes on plot points like cortexiphan, ZFT and Olivia’s abilities, but it’s about as far from canon as you can get and it’s odd that after the Joshua Jackson-penned “A” issues 1-3 they’ve already gone away from attempting any ‘real’ storylines. On the other hand as a one-shot comic it’s fun, well-paced and if you know anything about Batman you’ll probably manage a chuckle at several similarities between the lives of Peter “The Pattern” Bishop and Bruce Wayne. The art is solid, although this isn’t the first time it seems the artist of a Fringe comic has struggled with drawing Broyles, and the colouring from Randy Major is excellent. Plenty of red and blue as you’d expect from something Fringe-related and the Amber and the action scenes look great.
My biggest criticism – Olivia never gets her superhero name revealed! We see a cool looking costume but no logo or letter to go on, unlike The Pattern’s “P” insignia. Olivia deserves a cool name, but the best I’ve come up with so far are The Olive (lame) and Cortexigirl (better?).
Did you read Beyond the Fringe #4A? Did you like it? And what should Olivia’s superhero name be?!