I’ll tell you what . . .THE RED PANDA IS BACK!!! AND, KIT THE FLYING SQUIRREL IS WITH HIM!!! THEY”RE BACK!!!! AND, THEY BROUGHT GOODIES!!!
Okay, okay, calm down . . . It’s just a comic book . . .
What? Are you CRAZY? It’s The Red Panda and the Flying Squirrel!!!! After a hiatus roughly equaling the age of the dinosaur (okay, several long months), masters Taylor and Kotz have returned with another set of Golden Age-flavored, two-fisted tales of Toronto’s irrepressible knockabout heroes.
One Tin Soldier – Issues 4 & 5:
This time around, a cloaked figure is killing seemingly unrelated businessmen and escaping unscathed, despite having taken a number of rounds from Toronto’s finest. But, where the police don’t see a connection, the Red Panda does. And, it leads him and Kit straight to the Queen Street Lunatic Sanatorium for the Criminally Deranged . . . where the Panda’s old nemesis, Captain Clockwork (previously seen in the Red Panda novel The Android Assassins) languishes in a stupor . . . or does he?
Rhyme Spree – Issues 6 & 7:
A spate of love poems has led to a crime spree with unusual results: an increase of sales of the Toronto Chronicle (with columns by Panda agent Jack Parker) and a huge donation of love poetry to the local library. But, what connects these two seemingly disparate items? Only a series of poems that has left everybody in the throes of delirious passion (Kit: “Hmmph, Well, almost everybody.”) and the return of the Poet, a flamboyant master criminal with a talent for crime and verse. It’s up to the Red Panda and Kit to figure out his next target.
Panda: “I don’t know why that poem made you angry, but it seems clear that the Poet has this city primed for chaos.”
Kit: “ . . . primed for somethin’ anyway”
Panda: “I don’t think I understand.”
Kit: “Never mind. I’ll go explain it to one of Captain Clockwork's robots.”
Yes, the Panda’s still oblivious to Kit’s feelings for him, as much as she’s oblivious to the appreciative looks other men give her. And, the creators are doing a nice job of introducing characters previously created for the audio drama versions and novels of the Red Panda adventures.
While the artwork maintains it trademark energy and style as always, especially impressive is Kotz’s cover for Issue #4, a nicely penciled, expressionistic work worth the price of the issue itself. If they ever do prints of this, I’m lining up.
Oh yeah, I mentioned goodies, didn’t I? Each issue contains a charter profile of one of the Red Panda’s various agents around Toronto as featured in the specific story, as well as an excerpt from the upcoming Red Panda novel, The Pyramid of Peril, and if the title alone doesn’t stoke your curiosity or have you lining up your nickels and dimes, then you just don’t know what pulpy, chewy goodness you’re missing.
VERDICT: FIVE Bright Red Domino Masks out of FIVE