Page 45 Review by Stephen
Yes! Brilliantly gross! You scared them off and taught them a new word!
As Ive said so often that its almost my trademark, all education should be entertainment.
Here you will be starved of neither.
Are you talking about having an adventure?
Nope, its much more likely to be a series of horrendous, near-death experiences!
Well, thats okay because Don is a dude whos already dropped dead.
He drowned face-down in bowl of oxtail soup following a split-second chain of Junior School accidents involving custard, a playing card, a not-so-caged hamster, a caretaker, his step-ladder, and a great big puddle of puke.
Our far-from-fortunate schoolboy promptly fell off this mortal coil and into the netherworld now known as Broilerdoom, acquiring a free peroxide into the bargain. In LONG GONE DON AND THE MONSTROUS UNDERWORLD, the first eye-boggling adventure of pun-packed, mirth-making mentalism, Don met many a monster and allies too.
On the plus side was Viktor Rictus, the sentient squid; Safina the thief; Castanet the crow with his fear of fights, flights and heights; deposed ruler Ripley whos now mayor of The Slums; and a rude dude called Lewd who owns Demons Drink, a tavern which (it claims) Cures What Ales You.
On the mad, bad and shouty front we have Corpse Citys recent wrongful leader, a demon called Spode; Valush, his right-hand wraith; and now Bone-Dry Henson, a moustachioed Mexican skeleton.
At least, I think hes Mexican. He might be Spanish. Hes definitely devilish and hell-bent on robbing The Slums citizens of their totems and so stealing their sanity and it wasnt all there to begin with.
On top of all that, tomb-toothed Thanatos the gigantic, green lamprey-like creature which may contain the only portal able to propel our young hero home has become ensnared by General Spodes moat. He too has been robbed but of what?!
Pre-teen excellence like all PHOENIX COMIC COLLECTIONS, this boasts the energy and exuberant cartooning of René Goscinny and Albert Uderzos ASTERIX. Im not even kidding you: Im ever so slightly pleased with myself at finding such an apposite comparison. The degree of detail is completely unnecessary and frankly insane, but its a testament to how much the Etherington Brothers respect their young readers that they are willing to go those many extra miles to make this such visually thrilling fare, nor do they stint on the script. This is so dense in its best, value-for-money sense that parents can rest assured that their sprogs will be fully absorbed for far longer than almost any comparative comic.
There is, for example, a single panel in which Thanatos is persuaded to disgorge the considerable contents of its cavernous stomach including an early, experimental tricycle plane and a farmyard tractor. The lettering positively bellows at you and the colouring must have taken forever. Indeed the colouring comes with its own high energy levels, flashed-through as it is with bursts of yellow, pollen-like light.
For further recommended reading from Los Bros Etherington-os please see the most excellent puzzle adventures VON DOOGAN AND THE CURSE OF THE GOLDEN MONKEY and VON DOOGAN AND THE GREAT AIR RACE from Lorenzo, and Robins grin-inducing FREAKY & FEARLESS prose.